La Palma – Island of the Dragon Trees
Having explored, and photographed extensively in, Tenerife, Lanzerote, Fuerteventura and La Gomera in the Canary Islands, we ventured for the first time to the island of La Palma in January 2008.
Although January is a little early for flowers, there were many attractive species on display. We spent a lot of time exploring the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, with its fine Canary Pine forest, and some areas of Laurasilva Cloud Forest on the slopes on Cumbre Vieja. But the real surprise was the magnificent displays of Dragon Trees around the island, often in natural-looking habitats. Where we have seen Dragon Trees on Tenerife and Madeira, they were confined mostly to cliff ledges inaccessible to goats and other grazers, but the agricultural pressures seem less intense on La Palma, and the Dragon Trees are more highly celebrated and thus protected.
The images below are small sample of what we can offer. Publishers seeking photographs of the flowers, landscapes and wildlife of the Canary Islands should contact Michael here to check what he has available.
Note that this website only allows us to display extremely low resolution images; all the photographs displayed are available as high-quality digital images with a minimum size of 2GB.
All images copyright Michael Scott
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CANARY PINE FOREST
The Caldera de Taburiente volcanic crater offers spectacular scenery, with fine forests of Canary Pine on its lower slopes.
Sun highlights some fine Canary Pine trees in the Caldere de Taburiente National Park.
OLD AND NEW
Dragon Trees are being widely planted for amenity on La Palma, like this youngster growing beside a fine old 'granny' Dragon Tree near El Roque.
Here is another magnificent old Dragon Tree, that we found just a short walk downhill from the attractive village of Las Tricias, in the north-west of La Palma.
DRAGON TREE GROVE
Further down the hill from the previous photograph, the Dragon Trees became commoner and commoner, here almost forming their own woodland near Fuente de Buraca.
Here is another fine Dragon Tree growing on the hillside above Cuevas de Buracas. We have many more Dracaena photographs, including seedlings growing in pots ~ please contact us with your requirements.
DRAGON TREE FRUITS
In January, many of the Dragon Trees were in full fruit, as here near Fuente de Buraca.
La Palma has some of the best examples of Laurasilva forest in the Canaries, along with Tenerife and La Gomera. This forest grows on the slopes of mountains wherever the mountainside is frequently shrouded in the 'cloud sea' that hangs over the tops, as here below Cumbre Vieja.
This species is common in forests and cliffs all round the Canary Islands. Here it is growing on the rocky coast near Fuencaliente on La Palma.
LA PALMA WHITE BUGLOSS
This La Palma endemic is especially common in the volcanic region south of Fuencaliente, where it manages to survive in a dramatic landscape of parched lava flows.
In late winter, many species pass through the Canary Islands on migration, like this Common Sandpiper in the harbour at Puerto de Tazacorte on the west coast.
CANARY ISLAND LIZARD
These lizards are common in sunny sites all round La Palma, especially where they can scavenge food from passing humans (even bread crumbs used to attract this fine male).
Page Last Updated - 13/04/2010