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Gran Canaria

Flora and Fauna

Cabezón de La Aldea

Scientific name: ‘Cheirolophus falcisectus’                      

Common name: Cabezón de La Aldea

Family: ‘Asteraceae’      

Genus: ‘Cheirolophus’

Endemic to: Reserva Natural Integral de Güi-Güi - Gran Canaria

Other location: Viera & Clavijo Botanical Gardens

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 a sub-shrub of up to metre and a half in height that is exclusively endemic to Gran Canaria. It can be found in the southwest zone of the island, in the Cedro-Hogarzales massif. This is the sole population that is known, with around a hundred specimens that are to be found on the shady cliffs at an altitude of approximately 600 metres above sea level. The Cedro-Hogarzales massif can be found within the Güi-Güi Nature Reserve (locals know it as Guguy) between La Aldea de San Nicolas and Veneguera inside a greater protected area of the Nublo Country Park. The plant has ornamental value due to its purple, somewhat scented flowers. These appear between June and July giving way to fruit in August and September. It reproduces by seeds. In the Viera and Clavijo Botanical Gardens it is cultivated and its seeds are greatly cherished by visiting Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis). Its culture in other areas requires precaution to avoid its tendency to form hybrids with similar species.