Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tajinastes at the base of Teide, Tenerife

Tajinastes in the Teide National Park

As if all the fantastic shapes of the rocks around the Teide National Park weren't enough, nature goes and does these marvelous things with the plants too.

Tajinaste rojo (Echium wildpretii) is the name given in the Canary Islands to some species, generally endemic to the islands, of plants of the genus Echium. The name comes from the language of the aborigines (Guanches) and has pervaded until the present day. A large number of tajinastes in a group that forms a little forest of them, is called a tajinastal.

The tajinaste rojo (red tajinaste) is endemic to the island of Tenerife and is found mainly in the Teide National Park. The plant blooms from late spring to early summer in Tenerife and, as the video below shows, it was flowering last year in June, which would indicate that this may be a good time of year to come to see them.

(How do you pronounce the word tajinaste? The letter "j" in this word, as well as when it appears in the place name, Adeje, is closer to the English sound for the letter "k". An approximation of the pronunciation is "tacky nasty" (using northern English short vowel sounds). Of course it is neither, but it makes it easy to remember!)

Video: Tajinastes en la base del Teide - Junio / June de 2006

Image: Mataparda [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons