Another brush with Teror

I posted about the Virgin del Pino who I bumped into at Teror in Gran Canaria and promised a few photos of the rest of the town. In the north of the island, it is a popular spot with tourists and islanders and has a festival in September and a Sunday market around the Basilica in the Plaza del Pino.

Looking down to the Basilica

Looking down to the Basilica

 

Looking up from the Basilica

Looking up from the Basilica

 

Calle Iglesia Chica

Calle Iglesia Chica

 

The Plaza Teresa Bolivar, restored in the 1950s, named after Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who was descended from Canarian people

The Plaza Teresa Bolivar, restored in the 1950s, named after Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who was descended from Canarian people

 

The museum of the Virgin off the square

The museum of the Virgin off the square

 

Looking down on the town from a sidestreet

Looking down on the town from a sidestreet

 

A stepped water feature down a steep street beyond the Calle de la Diputacion

A stepped water feature down a steep street beyond the Calle de la Diputacion

 

Looking towards the Casa Consistorial with a gardener pruning the plane trees

Looking towards the Casa Consistorial with a gardener pruning the plane trees in the Alameda Pio Xll. This was originally an esplanade in front of the Episcopal Palace, dating from 1793

 

A large dragon tree nearby in the Alameda Pio Xll. An alameda is a tree-lined avenue and this one is named after Pope Pius Xll

A large dragon tree in front of the palace in the Alameda Pio Xll. An alameda is a tree-lined avenue and this one is named after Pope Pius Xll

 

A large dombeya providing shade and colour in the Alameda

A large dombeya providing shade and colour in the Alameda

 

Balconies

Balconies

 

I'd like a capucino and a Mc Floppy please!

I’d like a thick shake and a Mc Floppy please!

Leaving Teror and stopping every now and then to look at the magnificent mountain views and push my head in the undergrowth I was delighted to see one of my favourite Canarian wild flowers, one that I have found on Tenerife too, the beautiful Canarina canariensis.

teror views17

This fleshy-rooted member of the campanula family is a hairless scrambler that has rather angular stems and opposite leaves with a blueish hue and red tinged stems. It dies down in spring when the weather gets too hot and dry and sprouts again in autumn, reaching 2m and more with single, bell-shaped, orange flowers at the ends of the shoots. What is odd about the flowers is that the flowers have six sepals, petal lobes and six stigma lobes – most campanulas have flower parts in fives.

In addition, the flowers are orange and full of copious, weak nectar, features that are typical of pollination by sun birds.  But there are no sun birds in the Canaries, though they are found in Africa, and they are pollinated by finches. All birds like nectar and I have seen finches feeding on callistemon and calliandra on the Canaries. The large, fig-like fruits that form are edible. These were eaten by the native Guanches, the indigenous people on the Canaries.

There are two other species, both found in East Africa, and the genus seems to be most closely related to the Asian Ostrowskia magnifica, a beautiful but challenging plant with milky blue blooms with six or more petal lobes. Like many of the plants on the Canaries, canarina is a unique plant with a fascinating history and distribution.

teror views15

It grows in cool, semi-shaded places in the wild but can be quite easily grown in a greenhouse in the UK and Ireland if it can be given maximum light in winter when it is in growth and is kept dry (but not desiccated) in summer. It usually sends up purple shoots in September, even without watering, to remind you to start it into growth again. It is easily grown from seed and flowers in its second year. Canarina has been cultivated in the UK since at least 1696 when it was grown at Hampton Court Palace – it is nice to know that I admire a plant that may have been a favourite of William lll, and a flower that is just the right colour for William of Orange.

 

 

 

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