A taste of the Amazon at the Tenerife botanical gardens Jardin Botánico

This extraordinary man made park of the Tenerife botanical gardens Jardin Botanico of Puerto de la Cruz is one of top attractions of the Canary Islands, of Tenerife and of Spain.

Alice in wonderland in a tropical rain forest comes to mind there quite easily, as long as you visit on a hot day in summer when the light of noon plays in its favor.

Tropical rain forest in Tenerife Puerto de la CruzTropical rain forest mood

Dabbled light filters through tall tree tops in some of the many nooks of this wonderful enclosure.

The size of this Puerto Cruz trophy to be tripled

Kilometers of high walls that are built with natural stones as well as some huge iron doors hide a very special park when you take the TF5 exit 32 for La Paz Jardin Botanico.

It will soon help to draw even more than 200000 visitors per year. The little red roofed ticket kiosk by the old botanic park entrance may become small then.

A much needed wheel chair entrance and more?

Such option will be possible soon. Indeed, this extention of the park with a 14000m2 reception complex will make a huge difference. That's also for a media centre with educational and souvenir shopping facilities. Best of all will be a restaurant with a terrace to sit outside. Novelty plants will fill the remaining 26000m2 besides the existing 20000m2 gardens. Only some technical as well as administration issues have still to be solved. Any time after Spring 2016 onward should bring the long expected inauguration of the perfected Tenerife botanical gardens that are fit for the new Millennium and for better environmental education.

Plant novelties?

Absolutely. The park must evolve and new species are to be added to the 39 species of selected show flora with trees and plants from all corners of the global wind rose. A seed bank with 37000 germoplasm species and intense research of endemic Canary Island flora is part of the pride of the park's director.

Tropical and subtropical Bromeliads and Tilandsias

guzmania bromeliad
Often, dew drips from giant Banana and Elephant ear leaves onto low growing Birds nest ferns or Bromeliads.

Bees and other forest insects drink from them or bath in them. By the way, our best known Bromeliad is the commercial pineapple which prefers full sunshine contrary to all others.

My personal favorite was always the Guzmania Bromeliad which I even managed to grow on trees.

Best Garden architects at the Tenerife botanical gardens

Tropical landscaping ideas were implemented by the best gardening experts. You can but marvel at the broad patches of ground covers of all sorts. Colorful plants were used to blend in naturally, just like in the Brazilian jungle.

However, much had to be accommodated close to each other on a rather small scale.

That's one reason why everything had to be placed in skillful order unlike in the wilderness.

Kapok tree of the AmazonKapok tree
Yet the mood of the casual ways of Amazonian nature always prevails.

Huge beds of Philodendrons and ferns follow the Monocot flowering species. They store water with a musty smell in flower chalices on the ground or in the air.

Agapanthus however grow in stronger light, where a Pandanus palm by crossing pathways offers its seed heads to the sun.

Amazon trees of the Tenerife botanical gardens.

Totumo fruit with Totumo tree
The medicinal giant Kapok tree Ceiba Petandra the plant king of the Amazon eventually towers over its neighborhood.

It may reach 200 feet (about 70m)in its warmer original habitat.

Kapok which is rougher than cotton is good for upholstery, such as sofas or mattresses.

The Andean spirits of the Amazon

Then there is the Andean spirit of this black Kapok tree with the bushy green canopy that communicates high up with the winds.

This Ceiba may talk to you when all is very quiet on special days.

Bread tree and Saussage tree

The park depicts them side by side.

The rather small Crescencia cujete tree with its sweet Amazon Totumo fruit has seeds used for craftworks of colorful ear rings.

How can those trees survive without Amazon waters?

Chicle tree of Amazonia
They don't need the flooding of the world's widest river. In Tenerife, they have the legendary trade winds, Their mists make up for it, above all in the Orotava Valley with Puerto de la Cruz.

What about the Amazon Chicle tree?

This so called Manilkara Zapota of the land of some unknown Indian tribes has roundish fruit which look like medium sized Mangoes by the end of Tenerife September. The Aztecs and Mayans made chewing gum from it. It grows to about 15m with its glossy green leaves like most of the Botanico's trees but there is little that sets it apart from others by appearance alone.


The Tenerife botanical gardens Jardin Botánico a melting pot

Why a melting pot?

Well, its flora from several continents and nations mingle happily.

More tropical fruit and other trees

The tropical tree variety at the Gardens of acclimatization of Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife are breath taking. A Old man's beard plant  of a staggering 8 to 12 meter length at the entrance of the park is one rarity that is mind bogging.

Also note the typical attractive surface of the Guava tree besides its fruit that is also loved by bats.

Trumpet flowers of the Tenerife botanical gardens

Brugmansias Trumpet flowers
The botanic name is Brugmansias. Their big white bell shaped blooms light up tropical undergrowth in more than one corner of the gardens opposite the big mall La Cupola of La Paz Puerto de la Cruz. Brugmansias also originate from the jungles of the Amazonian tropics.

Cordyline Terminalis
More than one Cordyline Terminalis with leaves that look like they were painted with splashes of pink grows below the Brugmansias. Dense green foliage above and around the gay plants form their artistic background.

Heliconia Latispata
One of this park's most beautiful Amazon flower is the Heliconia Latispata . There are about 40 different species of Heliconias in the real Amazon rain forests. Yet, I could only detect two sorts in Puerto de la Cruz.

In fact, there are huge tropical Heliconias called Bihai or Lobster claw flowers. They are one of main reasons that put the vibrant Amazon stamp on more than one corner of the Tenerife botanical gardens Jardin Botanico.

Aphelandra Flava Amazonian plantAmazon plant
The Aphelandra Flava or Zebra plant is another most stunning flower from the Amazonia high humidity forest at the Tenerife botanical gardens.

It thrives on the Colombian side of the ancient South American river and in some of its regions of Brazil. The Aphelandra belongs to the Acanthus family and doesn't like direct sun.

Some parts of the Jardin Botanico are more like the outer edges of the South American rain forest. A somehow different vegetation prevails. There, more drought resistant flora also represents the Tenerife botanical gardens where they are more exposed.

Otherwise, all garden sections float into each other despite a well structured grid. You hardly notice the geometry, unless you never leave the main pathways. Natural landscape design surprises you after more than every corner. Often Ivies trail from trees while Tilandsias ornate trunks and clusters of seeds of all sizes embellish all kinds of palms. Orchids are to be seen here and there.

Echmea Lueddenmaniana Tilandsia
The spectacular tree Bromeliad Echmea Lueddenmanniana is a true Tilandsia that feeds mainly from the air. It's also a proud child of the Amazonian forests.

Grounds are almost densely covered with Birds nest ferns, Blechnums, Philodendrons, exotic herbs, Agaves, Aloes, green and red Yukkas. Lilies, flowering bushes and shrubs.

None of the cycads and tree ferns you see are of Amazon origin, though. Nor is the parks most spectacular tree which is a Ficus from Lord Howe of the Pacific.

More general info about the Tenerife botanical gardens Jardin Botanico

  • Its official name by a 220 year old Royal degree: Jardin de la Acclimatización de la Orotava.
  • Location: Calle Retama 2, La Paz, 36400 Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
  • Tel.: 922 922981
  • Opening times: Every day from 9a.m.to 5.30p.m.
  • Entrance fee: About €3 and &euro,2 for residents with or without a holiday home in Tenerife
  • Brain child of the park: King Carlos III of Spain in 1788
  • Reason for El Bontanico Park: Plant adaptation of flora from the Spanish colonies for the harsher Madrid climate.
  • The other Tenerife botanic garden a daughter park: La Hijuela in La Orotava behind the town hall.
  • Scientific handling: Botanic labeling, scientific monitoring, meteorological tests, maintenance
  • Noteworthy: The Puerto de la Cruz Jardin Botanico is an immense Tenerife attraction for celebrities, botanists and now also for locals and foreign tourists
  • News 2015: The new Tenerife walking festival from 10-15th of March includes a Puerto de la Cruz Jardin Botanico walk for 700 international participants

An enormous achievement for a tiny park

Almost 30000 species of flora which derive mostly from regions below the Equator received a new homeland on a mere two hectares of ground. Another two have been added, as local Macaronesian endemic and Meditteranean plants were incorporated later as well. The new addition to the old Jardin Botanico will turn the botanical experiment of a long gone Spanish king into something he may only have dreamed about.

Plants that flower during Tenerife Spring in April

Tibouchina trees from Brazil and South Africa

There is no doubt in my mind by experience that all tropical Natal South African Tibouchina mutabilis species in white and in yellow would also grow in Puerto de la Cruz. However,they wouldn't invade, as the humidity of the air is much less in Tenerife. So is the acidity of the soil.

Stunning flowering shrubs of the Tenerife Botanical gardens.

News about the Tenerife Jardin de acclimatización?

An employee of the park said that nobody knows when  the 40 000 square meter addition of the Tenerife Acclimatization garden will be open for the public.  However,  a camera shot by the Tenerife holiday home insider on April 07, 2016 through a wall provides a progress. The raw construction of the new conference and restaurant center seems to be up, as shown. A bigger and better park is needed. The high popularity of the park is rising daily. Too many tourists are coming already.

What more is there to see in the Botanic gardens of Puerto Cruz?

Click the photo to discover more about the edible Tenerife bananas that have become world famous.

The red veined darter

Ficus Macrophylla spp columnaris from Lord Howe

Fig trees in Tenerife including exotic ones in its botanical gardens Jardin Botanico

People are also interested in the Las Palmas botanic gardens Viera y Clavijo which specialize in Macaronesian flora with seed banks for 400 indigenous Canary Islands trees, some of which are also found in the Puerto de la Cruz Botanico Park.

More about surrounding La Paz of the Tenerife botanic park under the main topic Puerto Cruz.

From Tenerife botanical gardens back to Homepage of the Holiday home in Tenerife.

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