Visiting the places where common everyday landscape plants are native to is a real education booster towards your experience in Life as a gardener/landscaper
|Image - ASU|
So we see them everywhere in the arid landscaping regions of the west. Other than Torrey Pines (Pinus torreyena) they are one of those pines that can tolerate lowland conditions of arid climates. Especially so if they have a mycorrhizal symbiosis connect going on below the ground connected to their root system, but then this is true of most pines. Most pines we only think of as living high up in the mountains somewhere. Okay, so well maybe they do in the West that's how folk think. But in it's actual for real native habitat (not the local Nursery) the tree endures, yet thrives in some of the nastiest soil I've ever seen in a high mountain environment. Yes, the Canary Islands have very large high mountains, volcanic mountains and an area still active. Here are some pics of their habitat and associated plants when we visited there this past February 2012.
|photo by Jose Mesa|
Tenerife landscape with plant Echium wildpretii also know as tower of jewels, red bugloss, Tenerife bugloss or Mount Teide bugloss.
As you can well see, the soil is absolutely nasty looking, or maybe not so fine, but it works for them. But to a gardener or landscaper by no means. The soil however should tell you something about their requirements. Those pics are on the side and foot of a volcano cone which itself is in this giant super-volcano caldera the size of say the Southern Californian communities of El Cajon , Lakeside and Santee all put together. I've always wanted to visit the Canary Islands to see all of these native plants in their own environment where so much of our Southern California Landscaping material in the way of adaptable plants work for Southern California.
Another one which is also rather historical as a landscape icon for So-Cal is Canary Island Date Palm ( Phoenix canariensis ) which is also a familiar site one So-Cal boulevards and landscapes, especially in the older nieghbourhoods. Take a look below of a much younger Date Palm. Though they are called Date Palm, the Canary Island Palm is not grown commercially for dates, but the birds love them. Behind my parents house we had a neighbour in the 1960s who'd pay me a quarter to sweep up the date pits by what seemed to be in the thousands all over his front porch and walk way. That tree is gone today. Very messy trees in the wrong place. But it was always a wildlife magnet for many many birds. Especially the Hooded Oriole.
One difficulty faced with having this tree in your landscape is they tend to be messy, especially if you have the female that produces those dates. It is also a favourite target tree for the native Hooded Oriole who love to nest in them because of the available palm frond fibers they use to weave into the most perfect sock-like nest. But other birds also like them, like pigeons and sparrows. But also The Hooded Orioles build these amazing intricately woven sock-like nests with deep pockets for rearing their young and they use the fibrous Palm Frond strands to accomplish this. Take a look.
|Image by Juan Jose Ramos Melos|
https://dautedigital.es: The Palm Grove of Las Carvas
|Image - california-wildlife.com (Michael Chen)|
Here's what the Canary Island Date Palms look like in their native environment in the Canary Islands where they often grow on the steep mountainsides on clusters or groupings.
|Image - Lonely Planet|