Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas in Tenerife - The Poinsettia

Poinsettia and cactus growing side by side

The first sign of Christmas each year in Tenerife (ignoring the commercial aspects that are creeping ever earlier into the largest stores on the island, as they are everywhere else) is the appearance of the flores de pascua or poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), that typically Christmas plant, native to Mexico and Guatemala.

Poinsettia bushes of considerable size have now also made themselves at home all over the north of Tenerife, so it's well worth taking a trip to see them. You don't even need to leave the main roads, unless you want to.

Meanwhile, parks, gardens, squares and town streets, will begin filling with  specially cultivated poinsettia plants between now and Christmas - 106,430 of them in the capital, Santa Cruz, this year alone - that set the scene perfectly.