Flora and vegetation

It is not completely true that Fuerteventura was, before human arriving, an island covered by forests, as sometimes it is read, however, with absolute security there was more vegetation than the one we can nowadays see in the almost desert island. Two millennium of extensive ranching and centuries of agriculture and obtaining firewood for homes, construction and hundreds of lime kilns that worked in the island have finished with most part of its vegetal surface.

Even so, in valleys and cliffs remain beautiful canary palm groves and canary date palms and woods of tamarisk, the best preserved of the archipelago. There are tabaibales from sweet and sour tabaiba, two native shrubs with milky irritating sap, and in Massif of Betancuria’s mountains olive trees and seedlings grow disperse. In the highest part of Jandia, bathed much time of the year by the mists caused by the trade winds has even survived in wet and inaccessible rock faces small traces of similar vegetation to Monteverde (laurel and fayalbrezal) of the western Canary . These last traces have great scientific and conservationist value.

Vascular flora is formed by 730 species, approximately the 36% over 2000 registered in the canary archipelago. Among them there are dozen of exclusive endemic plants from Fuerteventura, standing out Jandía’s cardón, declared vegetable symbol of Fuerteventura by Canary Parliament, the beauty blue taginaste of Jandía and Winter’s daisy. Cryptogamic flora (bryophytes, fungi, lichens and algae) consist also of various hundreds of species. It should be noted lichens, which form multicolor surfaces in rocks or many places, especially the “malpaíses”.