Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Iberia VI

Ancient dragon trees, yet more volcanic ombu and some wild carob on the coast. Blogging-lite from the Iberian Peninsula continues. 

But first Cork Oaks, and there are plenty of them. This one is emerging from the woodland around Redondo, near to where we stayed for a few days in an old converted convent (the next picture). Most of the Iberian Peninsula is human maintained woodlands of Cork (Quercus suber) and Holm/Holly Oaks (Quercus ilex).

And the Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) on the cliffs of Parque Natural da Arrabida, just south of Lisbon. A native species around the Mediterranean.

Now in Lisbon, on the streets up to the castle, an Ombu (Phytoloacca dioica), native to South America. You may remember I posted arguably the largest in Spain, from near Malaga. This one isn't the most impressive in size but at the base it does have some what might be called chi chis if this was a ginkgo.

And in the Jardim Botanico Tropical in Lisbon, a Dragon Tree (Dracena draco), native to the Canary Islands, Morocco and thereabouts. It's peeping through the bushes, from the right...

But then that's not a Dragon Tree, this is a Dragon Tree! A reputedly 400 year-old specimen in the Jardim Botanica d'Ajuda (a garden established in 1768, before the reputed birth of this specimen). The specimen certainly looks old and the oldest reported from the wild (via Wikipedia), on the island of Tenerife, is apparently about the same age (although reported as a thousand or so years old at times). 

And at the same botanic garden an impressive pair of Ombu. The 'volcanic' base here covered in moss and lichens.

And finally, two more Dragon Trees. The first is another form this charming botanic garden - perhaps a hundred or so years old I'd suggest. A around it, a parterre, with a view to the sea. The second is a transplant, maybe fifty or so years old and apparently destined to be part of a swanky new apartment building patio in Lisbon.


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