Sunday, May 15, 2011

Isoplexis canariensis, the Canarian crest of rooster

This beautiful plant of Scrophulariaceae family is one of the most striking plants of the Canarian laurel forest. Usually grows in the clearings where sunlight gets more intensely, preferring bright environments and can also live in semi-shade. Under optimal conditions can reach two meters. It has an elegant appearance with its branches straight up finished in a conical inflorescence a lively and bright red-orange color that shines. It is endemic to the islands of Tenerife, La Gomera and La Palma, which is called "Cresta de gallo".  

Isoplexis canariensis fine specimen of a very bright light in the Anaga Rural Park on the northern tip of the island of Tenerife where he received frequent sea fogs, which moisture condenses on the leaves of laurel plants and falls drop by drop as a true rain. Is the phenomenon of horizontal rain, thanks to which the Islands are home to lush forests of Macaronesia evergreen trees and shrubs especially adapted to condense moisture from the sea breeze. Canary Islands, without this additional water supply for its low rainfall, would be semi-desertic islands similar to the Atlantic coast of the Sahara. 

Isoplexis canariensis inflorescence with dense flowers taper at the end of each branch. Her beauty and the habit of using it as a medicinal plant makes her vulnerable and is protected by law. 

Isoplexis canariensis leaves, ovate-lanceolate, leathery and very glossy, dark green tinged with purple. 

"Cresta de gallo" flowers close-up views. Its popular name seems very successful. Double click on picture to enlarge and better appreciate the details. 

Top of the flowers. 

Bottom of the flowers. 

Details of the four stamens and pistil of a Isoplexis canariensis flower.

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