Gran Canaria
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Gran Canaria

Flora and Fauna

Sauco

Scientific name: ‘Sambucus palmensis’                          

Common name: Sauco

Family: ‘Caprifoliaceae’  

Genus: ‘Sambucus’

Endemic to: Gran Canaria

Other locations: La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife

Description: Plant species considered in danger of extinction in the National Catalogue of Species under Threat and in need of a recovery plan. It is one of the rarest species in the laurel forest and can be found in La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. 16 population centres are known, with five of these containing just one specimen and although they do range up to maximum populations of 79 individual specimens in another area. In Gran Canaria only two plants have been found in recent years. It possesses numerous medicinal properties: it is purgative, diuretic and calms fever. In his guidebook ‘Flora of the Canary Islands’ David Bramwell describes it as a bush or small tree of over five metres with pinnate leaves and black fruit. The principal dangers that threaten its continued existence are the transitory footpaths, recreational areas, roads and forest tracks, along with the presence of livestock and crops in the near vicinity.