Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gran Canaria in my window

I did some more shopping after my Canarian experience. When visiting the local Supermercado, I found this little package of native seeds. What a great idea to have part of the islands fauna in your window. But beware – do not bring live flowers back – you may spread plant pests to new areas.

Last weekend I provided my plants with more space and soil. I decided to plant some of the seeds I had bought at Gran Canaria. The package contained seeds from different native plants. Among those mentioned on the package were:

Dracaena Draco – the Canary Island Dragon tree

The Canary Island Dragon tree is a plant native to the Canarias, Madeira, Cape Verde, Azores and western Morocco. Traveling around you see this plant, with much of the appearance of a giant yucca everywhere. They have huge trunks and long, pointed leaves on top.

The Canariy Island Dragon tree is said to grow to be hundreds of years of age. In fact there is one specimen at Los Vinos in Tenerife (right) estimated to be 650 years old. They are easy to grow. A friend of mine gave me a plant grown from seeds 25 years ago, and it is still growing in my living room. I look forward to a possible new generation growing in my window.

Phoenix Canariensis - Canarian Date Palm

The Phoenix Canariensis beautiful palm tree is closely related to the date palm. It is a hardy plant that may be, and is grown in most subtropical and temperate climates. They are easy to buy in local flower shops, as well. What fun to grow this beautiful plant from seeds. It gives a completely different provenience to the plant.

Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia Reginae

The Bird of Paradise is closely related to the banana plant, and is found growing throughout the Gran Canaria.

It is actually a South African flower, so the fact that it is found in this seed packet is slightly misleading. Still it belongs to the botanic memories from this trip, and I hope it will sprout in my window.

Life is like a box of chocolates…

And there were so many other seeds in the packet, so who knows – we will be in for some surprises. I will keep your progress of my small horticultural project.

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