La Aldea Natural


Plants are the primary engine of the biosphere, so much so that we and the vast majority of living beings inhabiting this planet depend on them, a fact that should enable us to understand their importance. The municipality of La Aldea de San Nicolás contains within its limits an unusual variety of flora for such a small area, outstanding for its richness and exclusiveness.

The amazing variety of environments produced by its topography and a climate marked by the geographical position of the islands and influenced by the cold Canaries current, the trade winds and the proximity of the Sahara make this space an island within an island, a veritable laboratory in which a vast number of plants find a suitable place to settle and, in many cases, to evolve to the point of becoming different from their ancestors.

Most of the plant formations found in the Canaries are represented, to a greater or lesser extent, within La Aldea. Pine woods, relicts of laurel forest, clumps of thermophilous forest, palm groves, willows, Canary Island tamarisks, succulent scrubland, halophilous vegetation and expanses of seaweed, among other species, grow and carpet areas to which they lend a charm beyond words, turning them into ideal habitats for many other plants, fungi and animals.

It is worth mentioning some stretches of forest and scrubland that stand out by their size, beauty and fine state of conservation. The pine forests of Inagua y Tirma-Azaenegue, the palm groves of Pinto Gordo, El Valle and Tasarte, the Mount Atlas mastic trees of Artejevez and Tocodomán, the tabaibales of La Punta de La Aldea, Guguy y Los Secos, the cardonales (xerophytic scrub) of Las Gambuesillas and Los Hoyetes, the halophilous scrubland dotted across the cliffs of Andén Verde y Guguy, the clumps of Canary Island tamarisks of Las Marciegas and Barranco Grande and the expanses of seaweed on the coast of Guguy.

In view of their rarity and relict character reference should be made to the junipers (cedars) of the mountains of Los Cedros and Verechuelos, just a few dozen of them, which constitute the bulk of those growing on the island, or the sole example of a Gran Canaria dragon tree located in the municipality, growing on the mountain paths of Tasarte.

All these environments are occupied by a host of species, a high percentage of which are endemic to the Macaronesian region, the archipelago, the island and even La Aldea itself.