Author Archives: Canarius

A Rainbow of Bananas

IMG-20181212-WA0008 Canarius | Thursday December 6th, 2018 |

We took this picture in June 2018 in order to show the incredible diversity of bananas that we pick in our nursery. We grow more than 80 different cultvars, with different tastes, shapes and colours, with the aim of producting quality suckers for our webshop.

The bananas that we put on our wooden  bench for this pircture belong to the following cultivars, clockwise: Cavendish, Dwarf Red (Figue Rose), Blue Java, Rajapuri and Monkey Fingers.

Cavendish is the most widespread yellow banana of the world trade. Dwarf Red , or Figue Rose, is the most common red-skinned banana. Blue Java, Rajapuri and Monkey Fingers are non-commercial bananas, only grown on a small scale or in family backyards for their great taste.

When we post for the frist time this photo, in our facebook page we reached in a few days 12k people. An astonishing record.

You can check the original photo in our facebook page .

We sell the plants of all these bananas through our website If you want to go straight to our BANANA SECTION click the link.

Three bananas grown in Tenerife: Dwarf Curare Plantain, Dwarf Red and Manzano.

Three bananas grown in Tenerife: Dwarf Curare Plantain, Dwarf Red and Manzano.

Pollinating a rare Cycad: First phase, collecting the pollen from the male

Male cone of Cycas multifrondis Canarius | Sunday July 22nd, 2018 |

A male cone is ready!

We grow different species of cycads as mother plants in order to obtain seeds for propagation. Here we show the mountain form of Cycas diannanensis. In february 2018, as our plants are about 8 years old, the first specimen achieved maturity and it is a male. Once the tall cone is fully exposed and developed it starts to shed yellow pollen.

Here in Tenerife, February is cool and wet. No females are ready, but one of the adjoining plants is now showing the tip of a female cone, which is much shorter and wider. It will be ready later, probably in mid-summer when the hot weather will make it grow faster.

So we collect the pollen from the male Cycas diannanensis ‘Mountain Form’ and store it for a later use. The pollen is put in a paper envelope and gently dried. It has to be refrigerated in order to last for months. Once the female cone will be ready we will try to inject the pollen inside to make the pollination happen. Our goal is to produce seeds and seedlings for our website

Pollinating a rare cycad:

What is Cycas diannanensis ‘Mountain Form’ ?

rare male Cycad

Cold-hardy cycad from high elevation, with broad leaflets. Leaf margins are flat or undulate, not twisted on the rachis. It is a widespread species in China, distributed through central and eastern Yunnan, often found on steep slopes high on ridges, between about 600 and 1800 m. This species was described in the 1990′s. Leaves are bright green or deep green, highly glossy, 140-330 cm long. Cycas diannanensis is another frost hardy species.

This particular form of Cycas diannanensis was formerly named by Chinese botanists Cycas parvulus, known from the material collected around Mengdian village.

Cultivation and benefits of different cultivars of banana

Green Bananas Hanging On Banana Tree Canarius | Friday June 16th, 2017 |

Edible cultivars or varieties in the genus Musa are simply called bananas. They are non-woody herbaceous plants in the Musaceae family. They are all seedless domestic crops, not wild plants, and there are more than 600 banana cultivars, originating from Eastern Africa through India to the SE Pacific Islands. Bananas (and plantains), are also considered one of the most important crops in the world, after rice, wheat and corn and others.

plant-677665_1920The standard yellow Musa ‘Cavendish’ and similar bananas feed most of the world market, but the “other” cultivars are more by far more interesting and some taste truly different. They can be told apart by their size, colour, taste or way of consumption. Some are eaten raw and ripe, some are cooking-bananas prepared in different ways. The best traditional way to eat them is to steam or boil them in their own skin. The fruits of some cultivars can be eaten both raw and cooked, while a few african cultivars are exclusively planted to make banana beer!

Although most of the cultivars are grown for their fruit, some are also known for their ornamental beauty or ritual value. More ancient cultivars are still being discovered, every few years, especially in Papua and the surrounding islands. Most of them are in risk of extinction, since they are often being replaced by modern cultivars and succumb to new diseases.

Cultivation and growth

Bananas do not have a resting season, so they grow throughout the year. Growth is quite fast, and they need a series of recommendations such as direct sun, low wind, good drainage in the soil and irrigation approximately two or three times a week. A young

Musa will flower after one to two years. Roots are superficial and do not need deep soils, so bananas can be grown in large shallow pots, especially the dwarf varieties. Each cultivar is slightly different but two tricks work for all, in order to make better fruits:

The weight and the sweetness of the bunch depends on the leaf surface and soil nutrients: keep your plant with many leaves and well fed.

Bananas make offshoots and become clumps. Remove most of these offshoots and keep small clumps with few, healthier shoots.

Bananas do not set seeds, so they are propagated by offshoots, removed with few or no roots. From Canarius we ship offshoots with a thick rounded corm, they root quickly in wet and draining soil if temperatures are kept between 20 and 30 C. Commercial cultivars are also micropropagated in vitro for mass production.


Climate and hardiness

When we talk about a tropical plant we think that its cultivation and growth must take place in an ever-warm environment, but many Musa cultivars do stand lower temperatures. Banana trees are classified with A and B letters, referring to their genetic origin. The most cold resistant bananas are the triploids (the ones with three letters) with more B’s, like AAB or ABB. ABB bananas do fairly well in Mediterranean climates with little or no protection in winter.

AA (diploid) bananas and Fehi bananas do better in the tropics with no dry season.
Triploid bananas (AAA, AAB and ABB) grow well also in the subtropics
ABB bananas are typically the most resistant to cold and drought.

Here in the Canary Islands all commercial plantations grow the Cavendish (AAA), but each winter we see how the trees often get dull green and shred many leaves. In turn, other ABB bananas grown in family orchards keep their glossy green and push new leaves through winter.

Our favourite tall hardy bananas

Musa ‘Orinoco’
Musa ‘Blue Java’
Musa ‘Pisang Awak’ (also called Namwah)
Musa ‘Lep Chang Kut’
Musa ‘Saba’
Musa ‘Namwah Dam’
Musa ‘Praying Hands’’

Three good dwarf hardy bananas

Musa ‘Dwarf Brazilian’
Musa ‘Rajapuri’
Musa ‘Dwarf Orinoco’

A fruit with multiple benefits

banana-2330301_1920Considered as one of the most complete fruits, its benefits are almost innumerable. First of all, bananas are real food that fills you up in a healthy way. It is rich in carbohydrates, but the truth is that this fruit is a great source of vegetable energy composed of three types of sugars with almost no fat content.

In the ripening process of dessert bananas, starch is reduced from 15-25% to less than 5% and transformed in simple sugars: sucroseglucose and fructose. Cooking bananas keep most of their starch. All bananas have abundant fibers, potassium, vitamins, minerals and complex aromas with ascorbic, citric and malic acids and a number of volatile compounds typical of each cultivar. Yes, you can live on a banana-based diet, as many people did for thousands of years in SE Asia and the Pacific islands!

This fruit prevents digestive disorders, fights depression or alleviates constipation and it also helps with fluid retention. Many cultivars are rich in provitamine-A, or carotenoids. These bananas usually have a pinkish-orange flesh, and not white as in the Cavendish. Fehi bananas are the kings of provitamine-A and their deep orange flesh has up to 100 times more carotenoids than a standard banana, and more than most fruits in this world.

Banana cultivars in Canarius

In Canarius we have a wide variety of edible Musa cultivars, each with its own characteristics. Here are some examples:

Musa ‘Ney Poovan’: This Indian cultivar bears small fruits with white flesh and a very sweet taste.

Musa ‘Figue Famille’: Characteristic for its curved fruit with a bottleneck apex, this cultivar is a “Pome” banana with a very fine flavour.


Musa ‘Curare Enano’: This is a commercial plantain, with good and regular bunch production. This variety is mainly grown in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Colombia, from where it is exported to the rest of the world.

Musa ‘Figue Rose Naine’: Dwarf red bananas bear fruits with a very unusual purple skin. During their ripening process they will have a dark purple color, passing through red and finally red-and-yellow, when it can already be eaten.

FotoJet (1)

All about cycas and their growth

COLLAGUE PORTADA 2 Canarius | Wednesday May 24th, 2017 |

By its appearance, most cycads look like palm trees. In fact, they are considered pseudo-palms, but they belong to a different family. The genus Cycas is part of the Cycadaceae family, exotic plants from warmer parts of Asia and Oceania. They do not produce flowers, but cones, much like pine trees.

They are plants of great antiquity that have conserved very well their characteristics, so much that some consider them living fossils and speak of them like plant of the immortality. The truth is that Cycads are modern plants that are still evolving and speciating like any other plant, but they just kept their “primitive” architecture.

Slow growth

cycas-edentataOne of the outstanding characteristics of these plants is their growth. Many Cycas species grow very slowly, they need patience but their maintenance is simple and require few resources. All of them love drainage, none of them loves frost. Little fertilizer is required because they have some special algae living in their “coralloid roots” that fix air nitrogen to the soil, so cycads literally make their own fertilizer from thin air.

However, it is advisable to take care of the spot where they are planted. None of them loves direct sunlight when young, but once they get older some species need full sun while some others need some shade.

Read carefully about each species and see where they are from: some of them can take some frost, while some others are strictly tropical. A few species evolved in the Australian desert. They usually have blueish leaves and they can also be deciduous in the dry season, staying as resting stumps for months.

Thick roots …  good for pots!

When you buy the typical 3-5 years old plant from us, you will see that young plants have thick deep roots like carrots (and also “coralloid roots” like corals !). In turn, adult plants have rather superficial roots that do not go too deep.

So, it is important that pots are deep and with bottom drainage. An excess of water damages the cycas, so drainage and moderate watering are key. But adult plants can live for eons in 40-50 cm deep pots, so many collectors living in cold climates choose to grow them in large pots that will be kept indoors during the colder months.

 cycas-micholitziiWith age, most Cycas species will generate a trunk, also called the caudex, reminiscent of palm trees and long, rather stif, feather leaves, like palms. Some of them are “trunkless” because they have a low subterranean stem, so leaves just come beautifully out of the soil.

 Plants will become sexually adult after about five to fifteen years from its birth. A cycad will never set any flowers – they are “gymnosperms” and, when the love bells are ringing, female specimens will produce a pineapple-shaped inflorescence containing macrospores. The males will give longer, thinner, usually upright cones, undoubtely “manny-looking”, often spreading some yellow pollen from their microsporophylls.

At this point it is important to remember the new cycads from China – Cold Hardy. If you want to know more about it, click here.

Due to their slow growth, resistance to neglect and low maintenance, they are perfect plants for gardening and also decoration.

Diversity of Cycas in our online store

In Canarius we have a wide offer of cycas, adapted to the tastes and needs of each plant collector. We do not sell weakish seedlings: all our plants usually spend three years in the nursery before going to the shop. Here we mention a few species, but please check in our store what is available.

  • Cycas hainanensis, a fast growing species originating in the mountain forest of Hainan Island, China.


  • Cycas panzhihuaensis, from inland China, is one of the cold-hardiest. It has stiff, bluish leaves and can take some hard frost that other species can’t handle.


  • Cycas tanqingii from Yunnan, China and northern Vietnam. It has a sturdy trunk with long dark green leaves, coated by a fuzzy red velvet.


  • Cycas micholitzii, with a low short trunk and beautiful bipinnate leaves, that spread and split like a fern.


Are they are expensive?

Well, they are not cheap! They are slow plants, with a very slow germination process and seeds are usually hard-to-find. Some species are faster than others and some seeds are cheaper. As the rest of exotic plants, in our online store you can find varieties adapted to the pocket of each customer. Cycads are hard to kill and will gain size through the rest of their (and your) life. Many of them will live longer than us.

 Old specimens can reach high prices of 1000’s of euros, but anybody can start with a young Cycas panzhihuaensis or Cycas hainanensis  which is affordable and will grow with time.

Endangered and protected?

Quite a few species of Cycas are in the IUCN red list of threatened plants. Some are exceedingly rare and critically endangered. Only a few are widespread.The genus Cycas as a whole is protected by the CITES international laws, but it is listed in the appendix CITES II, which is a milder level than the CITES I appendix, which includes the highly protected species of Encephalartos and others.

Canarius is FULLY LEGAL! All our plants have been started by us from seeds with official papers and we are registered as CITES producers. If you are not in the European Union, we will prepare a special CITES Export Document when we ship these plants. Yes, buying from us is a help to preserve the species!

Why choose Canarius to buy cycas and cydad? Find out here!

The attraction of showy flowers

20 Canarius | Thursday April 27th, 2017 |

Some flowers have the ability to attract animals to carry out the so-called pollination, and those are the showy flowers. Through a simple process, they allow seeds and fruits to be produced, thus becoming exclusive flowers that everyone wants to get.

In many cases, the flowers themselves can emanate their perfume at certain times of the day to attract their dams, which can range from animals like birds and insects to meteorological phenomena like water or wind.

Different colors and shapes

Definitely showy flowers attract attention for its spectacular colors and unusual shapes. In our online shop, we have a wide variety, ideal for decorating gardens and parks.

Crinum Luteolum: Yellow flowered desert Crinum native to dry, hot areas in South Australia. It is closely related to the white-flowered Crinum flaccidum. It is a beautiful compact plant, and it is rare in cultivation.

Koehneria Madagascariensis: A peculiar plant native of Madagascar with pink flowers that symbolize its “blood”. Koehneria belongs to the family Lythraceae and its spectacular color attracts insects for pollination.

FotoJet Collage

The last claim


Amorphophallus titanum has managed to steal the heart of the lovers of rare plants.

This herbaceous plant became considered as the “largest flower in the world” at the University of Bonn (Germany) with a height of 2.74 meters in height and even got Guinness awards.

Original from Indonesia, it is also known as the “corpse flower” because of its particular smelly odor with which it attracts pollinating insects.

In fact, it is this foul odor that attracts pollinating insects to make pollen exchange and reproduce.

Its flowering is almost non-existent, since it only occurs three or four times throughout its life.


In Canarius we are lucky to have the Crinum Lavrani, considered as the most wanted species within the range of showy flowers.

Its white and perfumed flowers fall vertically before opening and they do it from night until noon.

This herbaceous species from the low coastal forests of Madagascar appears mainly in the summer and its size ranges from 70 to 100 centimeters.

The exotic plants we have at Canarius are grown within greenhouses in different areas of Tenerife, where the use of chemicals is kept to a minimum. Some of our nurseries are completely organic, and others are energetically self-sufficient.

In our online store you can find all these types of showy flowers and many more, ¡Visit us!