• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Can someone ID this desert tree that grows without any irrigation?

 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 369
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
2
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This example is from my garden at 420m above sea level in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. There are many of these exact same trees growing on my land in a drier part of the island about 120m above sea level.

These grow completely without irrigation in an area of very little rainfall. Id like to ID them so I can research them and see if I should be encouraging them or whether there are other better desert trees to grow.

The land was terraced possibly over 100 yrs ago and I suspect these plants were mostly put in by man to help hold the terraces soil in place, as they are often found at the edges of the terraces.



20150404_191404.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150404_191404.jpg]
20150404_191413.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150404_191413.jpg]
 
James Koss
Posts: 74
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's hard to tell from the photos, but I'm from Israel, and it reminds me of this: Retama Plant

It's a local hardy plant, that grows wild, and the goats love it. It even grows in the Negev desert (I'm a bit north from the desert.) Lovely plant.
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 369
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
2
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Assaf. I've looked at some retama images since your post and it does seem to look like these trees. Turns out they are an N fixer too, so I'll be encouraging them and maybe trying to grow some more.
 
James Koss
Posts: 74
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Steve Farmer wrote:Thanks Assaf. I've looked at some retama images since your post and it does seem to look like these trees. Turns out they are an N fixer too, so I'll be encouraging them and maybe trying to grow some more.


My pleasure. These tree-bushes (an in-between, cause they don't grow much further than that size) are well beloved here. Give good shade, and require nothing, really, other than things not getting too cold - I think, though can't recall. The goats strip 'em hard, and they're happy.
 
Mat Ar
Posts: 31
Location: Texas USA
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
definitely looks like a retama, Could be an acacia though....Take note of the leaf shape, number of thorns per cluster and if they curve in any direction. If Im not mistaken Retama's have a cluster of 3(could be confusing it for another because here in Texas we are buried in mesquite and other acacias) If I am correct they should all extend out from a single base. They should look like 1 thorn curved downward followed by an upward curved thorn and then a 3rd thorn curved downward just like the first <^> something like that only facing down instead of out! good luck with the ID
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 369
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
2
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Still don't have an ID on this, defo not an acacia. Possibly a juniper or pine?

It's got some flowers now...

20150610_173924.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150610_173924.jpg]
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 12
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Steve! With flowers, it won't be a juniper or pine--different class of plants. Is there a neighbour you can ask, who can give you at least a local name for this plant, as something to start with? The flowers seem different in shape from the retama flowers.
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 369
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
2
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The locals call it "bolas" which is also the word for the decorative christmas tree balls hence googling for this just brings up xmas trees by the million
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 369
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
2
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok got it...

Plocama Pendula

Found it about 1/4 way down this page...
http://www.canaryislandflora.com/arid.htm
 
James Koss
Posts: 74
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's so strange that it's a difference species, entirely. o-O It still very much reminds me of the Retama plant from over here. I wonder how it would look like, if I could see one in front of me.
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 369
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
2
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm glad the retama came onto my radar as a result of this question. I will be getting hold of some examples due to its drought resistance and leguminosity
 
The City calls upon her steadfast protectors. Now for a tiny ad:
The stocking-stuffer that plants a forest:
FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic