Alberto our Gardener at Garden City is very proud of his little cactus garden pictured below.
Many Cacti are indigenous to Tenerife and the dry climate suits cactus growth. Alberto (pictured below) keeps his eyes open for cacti of particular interest, he says that every plant has a unique history and story.
He is happy to explain which plant is which through-out Garden City as we have a wide variety. We are even linking the plants into our apartment numbering system, we will explain more about that later. However, let's introduce you to some of the Cacti in Alberto's Garden.
The plant pictured above is an Aloe Vera. This can be found all over Tenerife and is well known for it's healing properties. It is one of the most effective sunburn remedies that can be found. An Aloe Vera leaf when cut open, exposes it's moist, succulent interior. When that is rubbed on sunburn, relief is almost instantaneous.
The Saguaro type cactus (above) from Alberto's Garden is also a native to the island. These things really can attain some height and can grow up to 12 feet tall. Usually in enormous clusters that become home to lots of wildlife.
This diminutive cactus is actually a 'Prickly Pear' seedling. It will grow and eventually produce the famous red fruit that is a great delicacy here in the Canary Islands. The Prickly Pear was not, however introduced into the Canaries for it's fruit. Rather it was because this cactus is home to the 'Cochineal' beetle.
A fabulously rich red and purple dye, suitable for food colouring, is made from the crushed bodies of the beetle and Cochineal dye production was a cottage industry in the Canaries until recently. Some families still supplement their income by collecting and selling Cochineal beetles gathered from Prickly Pear clumps around the Islands. Prickly Pear fruit is now considered to be a superfruit with loads of vitamin C and B complexes.
The Cactus pictured below is one of my favourites!
This Barrel Cactus is know in Spanish as the "Mother-in-laws seat". Well that says it all doesn't it !
As with most things, there is much more to many plants than we know at first glance so do enjoy Alberto's Cactus Garden on your next visit to Club Olympus!