Articles posted in Flora and Fauna

8 articles


25th Anniversary of Lanzarotes Title Biosfephere Reserve

The Lanzarote council has proposed an ambitious collective challenge to put a finishing touch to the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the title of the Biosphere Reserve. The president accompanied by the counselor of the Biosphere Reserve and the president of Rotary Club Lanzarotehave collaborated to plant 100 plants for each of the 25 years that Lanzarote has been awarded the title of Biosfera Reserve with 2,500 native plants. The Biosphere Reserve has the support of Rotary Club Lanzarote and an arm of volunteers from a group called ‘together we are Biosfera’ to add the plants to different areas around the island. The Biosphere specialises in the developement, conservation and better management of the islands natural resources.


Grape Harvest Starts

Last wekend the grape harvest began on the island. For the moment it is only certain areas being haversted as this year the ripening has not been uniform due to the weather. It is very important that the grapes are picked at exactly the right time to produce the quality wines which Lanzarote is known for. The bodega which produces the most is El Grfo which in 2017 produces 785,000 kilos of grapes and then one of the favorite wines Bermejo with 645,000 kilos.


Lanzarote Can Benefit From Tunera Farming

Lanzarote is in a position to exploit one of its cactus plants called La Tunera. This is grown mainly in the north of the island to farm Cochineal and the fruit that it bears to sell locally. The export is dominated by larger countries such as Mexico, Italy,Italy, Israel, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. The island has a long history spanning over 4 centuries which puts it in a good position for production and exportation. It has been noted that Lanzarote needs to catch up to benefit from the wealth that can be gained from the world industry.


Mother in Laws Tounge

Another plant that you will see around and about and seems to thrive in the Lanzarote climate is, to call it by its oficial name Sansevieria trifasciata, otherwise known as mother in laws tongue or snake plant. For someone that has trouble keeping a plant alive, this is a great contender for the terrace as it does not need much looking after. Its native to West Africa and gets its nickname because of the leaves which are long and sharp. Thats not to generalise all mother in laws! which I am sure do not have tongues resembling this plant.

Its a good house plant because the NASA Clean Air Study found S. trifasciata has air purification qualities, removing 4 of the 5 main toxins.[5] By using the crassulacean acid metabolism process, it is one of the few plants which also remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen at night. Is considered by some authorities as a potential weed in Australia, although widely used as an ornamental, in both the tropics outdoors in both pots and garden beds and as an indoor plant in temperate areas.The plant contains saponins which are mildly toxic to dogs and cats and can lead to gastrointestinal upset if consume

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Mother in Laws Cushion

Lanzarote is not really known for its greenery and foliage. The barren landscape and lack of rain over the summer can make it difficult to imagine anything could survive. In the winter. One plant that is always visible is the Cactus which is why  the island has its own cactus garden in the north in the village of Guatiza. Virtualy every species is kept in these attractive gardens for visitors to wander round and enjoy. Just walking around you will see the amazing shapes and sizes they can grow. All different you cant help wonder why this happens.

One of the most well know cactus plants that you will see in the locals gardens travelling around Lanzarote is a perfectly sperical one. This cactus has been nick named by Canarians ¨ Mother in Laws Cushion¨. It can grow up to 1 meter or 3 feet tall. There are plenty of them in Lanzarote but believe it or not, it is considered to be critically endagered in the wild. This plant is originaly native to Mexico and its real name is Echinocactus grusonii. I will leave it to your imagination as to why it is better known as Mother in Laws Cushion!

 


Poinsettia in Lanzarote

Lanzarote is not particularly well know for its abundance of plants although in the winter after a short rainfall plants seem to spring from nowhere and cover the normally barren landscape. This time of year the local councils cover the roundabouts and communal gardens with Pointsettias for Christamas floral displays. These plants are originally from Mexico and their name derives from the American minister to Mexico who introduced them into the US in 1825. His name was Joel Roberts Poinsett. In both Mexico and Guatemala this flower is known as Flor de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve plant)

The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[13] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.

 

 


How to Grow Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea are the plants responsible for adding beautiful colours to the island. Most commonly bright pink but also you can see yellows and white.

I remember buying a cutting at the airport and taking back to the UK, but unfortunately it did not take. I managed to keep it alive for a year or so but it never grew and finally withered and died. It does need a lot of sunlight and is more suited to hot and dry climates. If you have a greenhouse you may have a little more luck.

Step 1.
Decide whether to plant in the ground or in a pot. Bougainvillea thrives in places that are hot and relatively dry. If you want to keep bougainvillea outdoors all year long, it’s best to be in hardiness zone 9 or higher. If you’re in a colder, wetter zone, you can still grow bougainvillea if you plant it in a pot and bring it indoors for the winter.

  • Bougainvillea do best when night temperature don’t drop below 60 °F (16 °C) and daytime temperatures don’t exceed 100 °F (38 °C).
  • Bougainvillea can be wintered over in the basement or another low light area.

Step 2.
Find a sunny spot in your yard. Bougainvillea is a sun-lover and it will grow best in a full sun position, in the open, facing due North (in the southern hemisphere) and due South (in the northern hemisphere). Bougainvillea needs at least 5 hours of full sun every day to thrive.

Step 3.
Choose a place with rich, well-drained soil. Bougainvillea won’t do well in soil that retains too much water, so make sure the soil drains quite well. They need rich soil that is slightly acidic, with pH between 5.5 and 6.0.

  • Add limestone to the soil to increase the pH or sulphur to decrease the pH as necessary.
  • If you’re planting the bougainvillea in a pot, choose a soil mix with the appropriate pH level.

Step 4
Plant the bougainvillea. Dig a hole as deep as the bougainvillea plant’s root ball. Add a high-phosphate fertilizer to the hole to promote root growth and help the flowers bloom. Lift the bougainvillea plant from its container and wet the root ball into the hole. Lightly pat the soil around the base of the plant.

  • If you want the bougainvillea to climb a trellis or wall, be sure to plant it near the structure. As it grows, you’ll need to “train” it to climb the structure by wrapping it gently around the base.
  • If you’re planting the bougainvillea in a container, make sure to choose one with plenty of drainage holes, since bougainvillea hate to have “wet feet.”

 


Canarian Date Palms

Anyone arriving from a different destination will automatically notice the different landscape of Lanzarote. Almost immediately you will see the palm trees and maybe think that there is nothing special about these, after all in a warm climate you are bound to see few palm trees. The main difference being that the palm trees in Lanzarote are Canarian palms and not the same as the palm trees in main land Spain and other parts of the world.

These palms can grow up to 65 feet tall and spread up to 40 feet. Good news is if you have a small garden, these palms grow very, very slowly and will probably only reach 10 feet tall in the first 15 years. The sap of the palm is used to make palm syrup, so it does have a use apart from landscaping.

These are protected trees, so if you have one which is blocking your view, you will need to seek permission from the local council to have it removed and placed in another location. The law does not permit the destruction of this tree.