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The ecosystem on Lanzarote & Fuerteventura is  characterised by a hot and arid sub-desert climate with rainfalls fluctuating between 150 and 250 millimetres per year and by an annual average temperature almost always beyond 20° C.

Euphorbia Canariensis

(Euphorbiaceac) Cardon


This is the plant which best characterises the arid and humid environment of the lowest areas in the Canary Islands. It is a small tree, up to 3-4 meters high, with succulent trunks like a cactus. The green trunk is quadrangular or pentagonal. The leaves have turned into spines of up to 5-14 millimetres long, arranged in clusters of three or four. The flowers are reddish-green. It is an endemic species of the Canaries but has become rarer in the oriental islands.

Periploca Laevigata
(Asclepiadaceae) Comical


It is a plant with a wooden base and long, narrow herbaceous sprouts creeping on other plants' trunks, in particular on F. canariensis. The opposite leaves are ovate-lanceolate, with pointed ends. The flowers are two-coloured with a purple-brown inner part and a greenish outer one.


Kleinia Neriifolia
(Compositae) Berode


It is a shrub with succulent trunk of up to a meter high. Its branches are articulated, that means that they have constrictions making them look like a row of small sausages. The leaves are arranged in clusters at the end of the branches: they are caducous, juicy, more or less lanceolate and up to 12 centimetres long. The flowers are arranged in whitish flower-head, but it is very difficult to be able to see this plant in bloom. It is an endemic plant of the archipelago


Campylanthus Salsoloides
(Scrophulariaceae) Romero marino


It is a shrub of up to 2 metres high. It has linear and succulent leaves. Its flowers vary from pink to light blue up to whitish and they are grouped in inflorescences, at times crooked. It is an endemic plant of Canary Islands.



Euphorbia Obtusifolia
(Euphorbiaceae) Tabaiba amarga


Like the other species of the genus Fuphorbia which can be observed in the most arid parts of the Canary Islands, E. obtusifolia is a small tree characterised by a short trunk and an expanded foliage, almost round-shaped, with branches ending in a cluster of leaves. It is a common plant, in particular in the hottest and most arid zone, of up to 2.5 meters high, with an upright trunk. It has linear leaves, with pointed ends of up to 7 centimetres long and not more than 6 millimetres wide. The flowers are arranged in inflorescences called ciazi with light green bracts. This species can be found in north Africa and the Canary Islands.

Plocama Pendula
(Rubiaceae) Balo


It is a small tree up to 5 metres high, characterised by a very evident small trunk and open foliage, with curved, flexible and drooping branches. The persistent light green leaves are needle-shaped and up to 5-6 centimetres long. The flowers are whitish, solitary, and they are arranged only in the terminal part of the branches. It is an endemic plant of the Canary Islands and its presence tends to get rarer when we move from the western to the eastern islands It has got an extremely dangerous latex, particularly harmful to the eyes.

Argyranthemum Gracile
(Cornpositae) Margaritas


The aspect of this Argyranthemum is very similar to the others, except for the dimensions of its needle-shaped leaves and the smaller flower-heads which are smaller. It is an endemic plant of Lanzarote & Fuerteventura where it is quite common at less than 700 meters.


Allagopappus Dichotomus
(Cornpositae) Madarna


It is a shrub up to a meter high with a yellowish trunk. The lanceolate leaves have toothed margins and mucronated apices; they are viscous owing to the presence of essential oils. The flowers are grouped in yellow flower-heads, and in their turn they are grouped in clusters at the end of the branches. It is an endemic plant of Canary Islands, but it is not present in Hierro, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura

Euphorbia Balsamifera
(Euphorbiaceae) Tabaiba dulce


This plant can reach as high as 2 metres and has a very strong, many branched, creeping trunk. The leaves are always carried in clusters at the end of the branches but, in this case, they are not longer than 2,5 centimetres. The inflorescences have yellowish green bracts. Apart from the Canary Islands it can also be found in north Africa and Somalia. As with the other species belonging to the Euphorbia genus, this plant produces a kind of latex which can be used to curdle milk.

Tricholaena Teneriffae
(Graminaceae) Cerillo Blanco


It is a perennial, graminaceous grass that grows to 60 centimetres high and is characterized by white, pubescent spikes. This plant can be found in Africa and the Canary Islands where it is quite common in the hottest and most arid zones.


Hyparrhenia Hirta


The species of the genus Hyparrhenia can be found in the tropical countries of every continent, where they are part of the flora of the great savannahs. Among the species of this genus are grasses as high as 6 metres (H. cymbaria (L.) Stapf). H. Hirta is one of the smallest of this family only reaching 60 centimetres in height. It can be recognised by its violet-red leaves and spikes which are arranged at the end of the culm like the fingers of an open hand. It can be found mainly in the hottest and most arid zones. Also present in the Canary Islands are H. arrhenobasis (Hochst. ex. Steud.) Stapf, and H. hirta, yet there is still debate as to whether they are two different species.

Euphorbia Aphylla
(Euphorbiaceae) Tabaiba salvaje


It is a small shrub that grows to no higher than 50 centimetres. The trunk has very small and articulated grey-green branches, with opposite ramifications, which can be dichotomous or vertical. The thin leaves are small and precociously caduceus. It is an endemic plant of Canary Islands including Lanzarote & Fuertevtura.

Ceropegia Dichotoma
(Asclepiadaceae) Cardoncillo


It is a small shrub with succulent trunks no higher than 60 centimetres and practically without leaves for most of the year. The trunk is greenish-grey-light brown, and smooth with some constrictions which make it look like a row of small long sausages. Clusters consisting of two to seven flowers are grouped at the end of the trunk. It is an endemic species of Lanzarote .

Argyranthemum Coronopifolium
(Compositae) Margaritas


It is a creeping shrub no higher than 40-50 centimetres. The leaves are succulent, hairless, oblanceolate and dentate at their apex. The flowers are grouped in flower-heads of about 2,5 centimetres in diameter, with a yellow inner part and white-cream flowers. The flower-heads vary in number from one to eight. It is an extremely rare plant which can be only found in the Teno region  in Tenerffe in a small area between the Rocks of Fraele and Cape Bellavista on the humid basaltic flows at a height of between 50 and 200 meters. It must be considered as a vulnerable plant and it must therefore be protected.

Euphorbia Atropurpurea
(Fuphorbiaceae) Tabaiba mejorera


It is a plant which often grows to two meters in height. The glaucous leaves are oblanceolate and grouped in clusters at the apex of the branches. The flowers are arranged in wide inflorescences with intense purple-red bracts, whilst the fruits are brown or deep red. This beautiful Euphorbia can only be found in the south-west part of Lanzarote, between 300 and 1 200 meters high.

Retama Raftam
(Leguminosae) Retama Blanca


This is a species which can be found both in northern Africa and the Canary Islands except for Lanzarote and Fuertenventura. It is a shrub grows up to 5 metres high, with flexible, reed like grayish-green branches and foliage characterised by the distance between the leaves. The young branches are articulate and shiny. The leaves are almost always absent and they can only be seen after a rainy season. The white flowers have a very strong, sweet honey smell and they are arranged in wide and huge inflorescences. It a plant with high decorative value and its flowers are sold at local markets.

Echium Aculeatum
(Boraginaceae) Taginaste


It is a small tree of up to 3 meters high, with a short trunk and branched, round-shaped foliage. The linear leaves tend to be carried in the highest part, next to the inflorescence. The flowers vary from pale blue to white and are grouped in small spike-like inflorescences. It is an endemic plant of the Canary Islands, but it is rarely found in Lanzarote and Fuertenventura.


Lavandula Canariensis
(Labiatae) Hierba del risco


This endemic species of the Canary Islands is a wooden based shrub with upright herbaceous branches ending in inflorescences. The opposing greyish-green leaves are pubescent, pinnate and with rounded lateral processes. The violet flowers are grouped in long and narrow spike-like branched inflorescences.

Phoenix Canariensis
(Palmae) Palma


This palm can grow up to 15 meters high and it is characterised by a cluster of leaves at the top of a straight trunk. It is practically always pruned and therefore its foliage consists of few leaves. The unpruned plants are shorter but with more leaves, sometimes as many as 60-100. The pinnate leaves are very long - up to 7 meters - with 100-150 couples of leaflets, coriaceous but flexible. These leaflets have auxiliary double series of short and very hard yellowish thorns. The flowers are small and grouped in close and branched inflorescences, up to one and half meters long; male flowers are whitish and the female ones yellowish. The fruit is similar to the date "tamanares" and is oval shaped, 1.5-2 centimetres long and with little flesh - they are edible but because they are of little value they are not picked and when they fall down they are eaten by birds mice and pigs.

The very young shoots may be eaten raw in salads. On La Gomera the local people use the "palm honey" whose production obstructs the formation of the inflorescences. It is used as an ornamental species in parks and gardens, where it gives good results. In the islands where the date palm (P dactylifera L.) is grown, hybrids between the two genuses can be found.

This plant, with the drake, can be considered the symbol of Canary Islands, even if its wild presence tends to diminish more and more.

Dracaena Draco
(Dracaenaceae) Drago


It is a tree-like plant with a wide, short and squat trunk from which a series of almost dichotomous branches grow. The leaves are grouped at the apex of these branches and they are arranged in a rosette shape. The linear grayish-green leaves are rigid and in the biggest plants up to 60 centimetres long. The small whitish flowers are arranged in a pendulous inflorescence. The orange fruits are round shaped and fleshy. It is an endemic plant of the islands of Macaronesia. There are many legends concerning the drake of the Canary Islands: in medieval books is written that the blood-red lymph - "sangre de dragon" - coming out from the trunk when the bark is cut had both healing (for ulcer and dysentery) and magic properties. Many speculations have been made concerning what age the dracaena could reach: Mr. Alexander von Humbolt, one of the first men to explore the Canary Islands, reports that a plant in the Orotava valley that was destroyed by a hurricane in 1867 was over 6,000 years old and had a circumference of 27 meters

Gonosperum Fruticosum
(Cornpositae) Corona de Ia Reina


It is another composite which can be easily recognised from Launea by its larger flower-heads (up to 5 centimetres in diameter) with vitreous squamae of the involucre and grey leaves. Gonospermurn is a shrub that grows up to one and half meters high, with pinnate leaves and yellow flower-heads. Gonospermurn fruticosurn is an endemic species of the Canary Islands.

Launaea Arborescens
(Cornpositae) Ahulaga

It is a shrub with small branches turned into thorns and up to 70 centimetres high with a few small hairless leaves, lightly lobed. The yellow flowers are grouped in small flower-heads one centimetre in diameter.

Lavandula Buchii
(Labiatae) Mato risco


It can easily be recognised both by its light blue flowers tending to violet and by its pinnate comose leaves. Such duvet gives them a peculiar grey colour and they feel cotton-like when touched. It differs from the other species of the genus Lavandula that can be found in Canary Islands both for its comose leaves and for its calyx which is longer than the bract below.

Lavatera Acerifolia
(Malvaceae) Malva Silvestre


This endemic species of the Canary Islands can be recognised from the rarer L. phoenicea Vent. (another endemic plant of Tenerife) for its darker flowers which are narrower in the basal part. It is a shrub of up to two and half meters high, with large pinnatifid leaves with irregularly toothed lobes and very long petiole. The flowers are large (up to 7-8 centimetres in diameter) and its mauve colour is darker at the base; occasionally they are whitish.

Argyranthemum Broussonetii
(Compositae) Margaritas


It is a hardy shrub up to 1,2 metres high very strong and close. Its leaves are up to 16 centimetres long, oval, abruptly pinnate, completely hairless or with only few hairs along the midrib. The flowers are grouped in flower-heads whose inner part is yellow and whose ligulate flowers are white. Argyranthemurn broussonetii is an endemic species of Tenerife & Lanzarote.


Artemisia Thuscula
(Cornpositae) Ajenjo


It is a small shrub easily recognised because when its leaves are rubbed a strong incense smell comes out of them. It is up to one meter high and its silver grey leaves are usually flabby. The flowers are closely grouped in small, gold yellow flower-heads. Arternisia thuscula is an endemic species of the Canary Islands.

Lobularia Canariensis
(Cruciferae) Hierba de la rabia


It is a small wooden shrub endemic in Macaronesia. The colour of the petal varies from white to pink, while the sepals vary from green to reddish. Lobularia canariensis is a variable species of which many sub-species have been recognised: Lobularia canariensis subspecies canariensis, Lobularia canariensis subspecies intermedia (Webb) Borgen, Lobularia canariensis subspecies palmensis (Christ) Bergen and Lobularia canariensis subspecies microsperma Bergen. The above mentioned sub-species cannot be easily distinguished from one another and the only characters to which we can appeal are the variations in the colouring of the sepals.

Plantago Arborescens Poir
(Plantaginaceae) Pinillo


It is a small prostrate wooden shrub not higher than 60 centimetres, igneous and much branched at the base. Herbaceous sprouts start from the wooden branches and end with very close spikes consisting of tiny flowers with sepals and petals with a white border. Once they have ripened, the sepals and petals get a yellowish colour owing to the anthers. Plantago arborescens is an endemic plant of the Canary Islands.

Echium Simplex
(Boraginaceae) Arrebol


It is a giant perennial grass, sometimes biannual with short trunk and no branches. The linear-lanceolate leaves are strigous owing to the short silver hairs. They are held in a close basal rosette. The floral scope is characterised by the presence of leaves and it is up to 2 metres high. The white flowers are arranged in a spike-like inflorescence very narrow and long. It is an endemic plant of Tenerife.





The information contained within this page is a general guide to the islands flora.

We at Island Mobility have compiles this web specific site to provide general information  relative to  Lanzarote & Fuerteventura and the other Islands within the canaries.

We hope that Tourists along with residents of Lanzarote & Fuerteventura will gain a small inside to the flora and its ecosystems, the landscapes are unusual, and some of the plant life is rare and has adapted to the somewhat hostile and arid conditions over centuries.



Island Mobility is a Company based in Lanzarote & Fuerteventura that hire, rents & sells mobility aides & general disability equipment.

Our range of products is extensive and include electric mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, electric mobility hoists, shower chairs, commode chairs, bath boards, walking frames.

We can also assist if you require information on stair lifts walk in baths pool hoists or any general adaptation that residents may need to their home enabling them to have greater flexibility and independence within their living space.


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