The Canary Island Spurge

Foto vía Wikipedia Commons: Lauvila

The Canary Island Spurge (cardón in Spanish) has a certain majestic air – it is elegant and resembles a large candelabra. Although it comes in all shapes and sizes, it can reach a height of three metres and considerable width. It seems to belong to the cactus family, however this is not the case; it is a relative of the tabaiba (euphorbia balsamífera) which is so characteristic of the Islands.

This shrub has spines on its trunks and, when it blossoms in spring, we can observe a reddish fruit on the tips. Care should be taken with its whitish sap, because it is highly toxic. As occurs with other species of our flora, this is a native plant of the Canaries and is protected to avoid extinction. It can be seen in many places, including urban gardens, but we recommend those of the Anaga Rural Park. A curiosity: in northern Tenerife, near Buenavista, there is a place called El Cardón; this is because explorer, Alexander Von Humboldt, was transfixed in 1779 by the immense 150 square metre specimen he found there.

 

The above  was originally posted Tenerife Express
For more info on Tenerife read the Red Queen Musings everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog
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