Tag Archives: Subtropical

Our chameleon-like bromeliad: Aechmea blanchetiana

Canarius | Friday December 18th, 2015 |


Crop of pups of Aechmea blanchettiana, ready for shipping.

Crop of pups of Aechmea blanchettiana, ready for shipping.

Aechmea blanchetiana is a botanical species of the bromeliad family, originating in Brazil, from Bahia to Espirito Santo. It is a typical element of the vegetation that grows along the coasts, referred to as “restingas”, whose soils are generally poor and sandy.

This is one of the most popular bromeliads used for landscaping in tropical and subtropical countries. It can withstand powerful solar radiation, low availability of water and salty sea air. It is a plant that also endures shaded spaces, but the leaves turn green and rather soft and flaccid, therefore losing part of its beauty.

This large bromeliad is often used outdoors in full sun.

The genus name derives from the Greek “aichme” (spearhead) and the species is named after its discoverer, Jacques S. Blanchet. Currently,  Aechmea blanchetiana is widely used as an ornamental plant.

It is a large evergreen herbaceous plant that has a rosette with abundant leaves,  that turn bright orange when exposed to sunlight. Aechmeas are “tank-type bromeliad”, so leaves are arranged as a funnel and they form a central cavity, usually filled with water. Leaves are stiff, with soft spines at the apex and on the margins. Curiously, we could highlight that each rosette of Aechmea blanchetiana blooms only once  and then dies, but this process takes about two years and new “pups” are produced at the base of the mother plant. The blooming season starts in mid summer and the colourful branches last until the end of the year or even more, until they start bearing fruits. These  are small globose berries containing elliptical seeds about 1-2 mm long. It can be reproduced, not only by seed, but also vegetatively through the new “pups” that are born at the base and can be separated when they have reached a size of at least one third of the mother plant.

Frog inside an Aechmea blanchetiana

Frog inside an Aechmea blanchetiana

Currently, in the nursery of Canarius, we have lots of Aechmea blanchetiana, available in younger or adult sizes.

Furthermore, we also offer a large selection of bromeliads which are hard to find in European collections and gardens. Above all, thanks to the adaptation of these species to both the cold and dry heat of the Canary Islands (Spain), most of them can be grown outdoors in coastal mediterranean climates.

List of the Palm Species grown in the streets and parks of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

Canarius | Tuesday July 27th, 2010 |

This list is retrieved from the Palmtalk forum of the International Palm Society. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is called the Capital City of Palms in Europe, because a large number of palm species is used in public landscaping. There are more than 60 species in streets and parks of this city in the Canary Islands. Furthermore, almost 500 species can be found in the Palmetum de Santa Cruz, which is a large botanical garden located in this city.

You can buy all these palm trees and many more in the Palm Section of our Shop – We ship young plants to anywhere in Europe.

Below you will find the List of the Palm Species grown in public spaces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The Cuban Royal Palm, Roystonea regia is very common in the streets of Santa Cruz

  1. Acoelorraphe wrightii
  2. Archontophoenix alexandrae
  3. Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
  4. Bismarckia nobilis
  5. Brahea armata
  6. Butia capitata
  7. Caryota mitis
  8. Caryota urens
  9. Chamaedorea costaricana
  10. Chamaedorea elegans
  11. Chamaedorea metallica
  12. Chamaedorea seifrizii
  13. Chamaerops humilis
  14. Chamaerops humilis cerifera
  15. Chambeyronia macrocarpa
  16. Cocos nucifera
  17. Coccothrinax barbadensis
  18. Copernicia alba
  19. Dypsis decaryi
  20. Dypsis leptocheilos
  21. Dypsis lutescens
  22. Elaeis guineensis
  23. Gaussia maya
  24. Howea belmoreana
  25. Howea forsteriana
  26. Hyophorbe lagenicaulis
  27. Hyophorbe verschaffeltii
  28. Latania lontaroides
  29. Latania verschaffeltii
  30. Licuala spinosa
  31. Livistona australis
  32. Livistona chinensis
  33. Livistona decora
  34. Phoenix canariensis
  35. Phoenix dactylifera
  36. Phoenix reclinata
  37. Phoenix teophrastii
  38. Pritchardia hillebrandii
  39. Pritchardia pacifica
  40. Pritchardia thurstonii
  41. Ptychosperma elegans
  42. Ravenea rivularis
  43. Rhapis excelsa
  44. Roystonea oleracea
  45. Roystonea regia
  46. Sabal minor
  47. Sabal sp.
  48. Syagrus romanzoffiana
  49. Thrinax radiata
  50. Trachycarpus fortunei
  51. Veitchia sp.
  52. Wallichia disticha
  53. Washingtonia filifera
  54. Washingtonia robusta
  55. Wodyetia bifurcata
Spindle palm in Tenerife

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii is planted in many streets of Tenerife

Canarius Bromeliad Nursery grows the colourful species hardy to outdoors conditions

Subtropical Climate

Canarius | Tuesday May 11th, 2010 |

Subtropical climates are non tropical climates with cool winters with little or no frosts. In subtropical climates, Winter is a noticeably cooler season. It is relatively warm, but never as hot as the summer season. These climates rarely, if ever, see frost or snow. Subtropical belts exist in both hemispheres and they are located just North and South of the tropics.

Rainfall patterns vary widely throughout the subtropics including hot deserts, savannas, monsoon forests, humid forests and the warmer parts of the Mediterranean climate zone. Subtropical regions include:

Typical House in Tenerife, with a Subtropical Kentia Palm and Potted Cacti

Northern Hemisphere: California, Texas, Florida, Canary Islands and Madeira, parts of the Mediterranean, northern India, southeast China, Southern Japan

Southern Hemisphere:  So. Brazil, N. Argentina, Parts of Chile, Uruguay, large parts of Australia and coastal South Africa (Mostly Natal)

Subtropical Climate in Europe

Europe has some Subtropical spots too in warmer, coastal areas within the mediterranean climate area. The climate in the Southern Mediterranean, with little or no frost , can be defined as Subtropical climate. This is the case of the coastal areas of Southern Portugal (Algarve), Southern Spain (Andalucia, Almeria, Murcia), Southern Italy (Sicilia, Calabria) and Southern Greece. Even cooler Subtropical areas can be found in Southern France (Cote d’Azur). Warmer spots are also found in the United Kingdom, precisely in the Isles of Scilly with 6 °C (42.8 °F) average in the coldest month. Of course there is a lot of difference between the Isles of Scilly and a typically hot subtropical climate like Florida. The English islands have a cooler, even climate reminiscent of the mountain climate in the warmer Subtropics.

The Canary Islands are located in the Subtropical belt too, very close to the tropics. The climate is frost-free on the coast, but it less hot than in many Subtropical areas because of the trade winds and the cold ocean. The Canaries are the only territory of Europe located straight into the subtropical belt.  Even here we do not have a typical subtropical climate, because our climate is also Mediterranean, because of the rainfall pattern and also Oceanic, because of the cooling effect of the sea.

Fruiting papaya in the Canary Islands

Exotic Gardens and Crops in Subtropical Climates

Many tropical species will tolerate the winter in the Subtropics and will grow outdoors. More than 500 palm species can live in Subtropical areas with little or no frost, exotic flowers such as Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) or (Heliconia) and many Cycad species. The beautiful Bromeliad Family is a must in any garden. Hundreds of species of Succulent Plants from dry areas can grow and bloom as long as they are kept dry in winter. The dry subtropics include many of the world desert, so here is where most desert gardens are developed. Also the tropical succulent species will do fine, like Melocactus or Adenium and Pachypodium if kept well drained. Palm-like desert plants, such as Yucca and Dasylirion, thrive to perfection.

Melocactus conoideus grows outdoors on the Subtropical coast of Tenerife

Fully tropical species can grow in the Subtropics. They may slow down or stop in winter but most will grow reasonably well. Many tropical fruit trees grow freely. Mango, Papaya, Sugar Cane and Avocados are produced commercially in various subtropical regions of the world. Occasional frosts or short summers limit the spread of tropical horticulture in the Subtropics.

A blue leaved Cycad from the subtropical coast of South Africa, Encephalartos arenarius.

An impressive number of Palms and Cycads is kept by collectors. Many tropical flowers will winter outdoors. Bromeliads can be used freely as garden plants, as well as Heliconias. In lower latitudes, Cacti and Succulents are simply part of the landscape. Different species of Agave, mostly from Mexico, grow wild on the hillsides of Mediterranean Europe and Aloes flourish in pots and gardens. Large specimens will often enhance the garden of the villa, in the ground or in large pots. Southern Spain and Portugal are even sunnier, almost as Northern Africa so Cuban Royal Palms (Roystonea regia) and Royal Poincianas (Delonix regia) thrive in many coastal location, papayas will fruit with little effort.

With some protection and some effort you can grow subtropical plants in colder climates. Visit our blog section about Tropical Gardening in Northern Climates.


Come to our shop and buy the best subtropical plants of all kinds. We ship to anywhere in Europe.

Neoregelia chlorosticta blooming with yellow and red leaves

Fabulous colours on the bromeliad Neoregelia chlorosticta, blooming with yellow and red leaves

Mango Varieties sold by Canarius for Mediterranean and Subtropical Climates

Canarius | Wednesday May 5th, 2010 |

The mango tree, Mangifera indica, is an evergreen tropical tree tolerant of cooler conditions and short droughts. There are literally thousands of different types, called varieties or cultivars.

Canarius offers a selection of varieties better adapted to non tropical climates, grafted on a the hardy rootstock “Gomera-1″. You can buy young trees in the shop. Mango will effortlessly grow and fruit outdoors in warm Mediterranean Climates, such as coastal areas of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. Adult plants resist short freezes at -4°C (25°F), but young trees are more sensitive. Mango is the third most important tropical crop in the Canary Islands, after banana and avocado.  

This is Mango Irwin, grown in Tenerife

Different varieties hide different flavours, fruit sizes and colours. Mangos may be dark green, greenish-yellow, yellow, red, orange or purple. By planting different varieties, the fruiting season can be extended up to four months. Low-growing varieties, such as ” Keitt ” can grow and fruit in large pots. The yellow Canarian mango “Gomera” is the most resistant to cold and frost and it fruits even in South France. “Lippens” fruits well in cooler conditions, so it is planted at higher elevations in the Canaries. “Osteen” is grown commercially in Mediterranean Southern Spain.

Grafting is the best way to reproduce the best varieties. The mangos sold at Canarius are all grafted and the rootstock is the hardy canarian mango “Gomera-1″, because it is resistant to drought and wet, cool soil in winter. Our mango trees are hardier to cold because we use this type of rootstock.

Fruits of Mango Gomera-3. Gomera is a hardy Canarian variety used as a rootstock. Mango trees grafted with gomera are less sensitive to cold and drought.

Canarius offers the varieties that are planted here in the Canary Islands, in our subtropical-mediterranean climate. We ship to your home the same grafted trees that are sold to local farmers , ready to go to the field: same plants, same size, same deep pots.

The plants you purchase are at least 2 years old, because the root trees are grown for 1,5 years before grafting. Then they are grafted and grown for at least six  moremonths. These plants will fruit in two or three years. They will bloom very soon but you will need to remove the inflorescence during the first two years, to allow stronger vegetative growth before fruiting.

Grafting Mangos in the Nursery

In our shop you can purchase a wide selection of mango trees of different varieties. All trees are grafted by hand, with specific cultivars. We ship to any countries in Europe.

Try also our delicious Mango jam with or without sugar, in the honeys & jams section, produced with the mangoes of the Canary Islands.

List of our stock of Mangifera indica
(Not all varieties are available at any time. Sometimes we only supply a few mango cultivars.)

  • Anderson
  • Ataulfo
  • Bill
  • Edward
  • These are the mango plants that we ship to your homeFord
  • Gomera (Hardy Mango)
  • Haden
  • Heidi
  • Irwin
  • Isis
  • Kensington
  • Keitt
  • Lily
  • Lippens
  • Manzanillo
  • Mun
  • Osteen
  • Palmer
  • Sensation
  • Tolbert
  • Tommy Atkins
  • Valencia Pride
  • Van Dyke
  • Zill

The Canary Islands

Canarius | Tuesday January 5th, 2010 |

The Canary Islands are an archipelago of volcanic origin, consisting of seven major islands, one minor island, and several islets. They are located in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the Africa, near Morocco and Western Sahara. They are part of Spain, as the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.

There is a mild, oceanic climate, spectacular volcanic landscapes, unique endemic nature and excellent Canarian Food and Cuisine.

The islands lived an interesting history, from the first aborigines, through colonial times, to the modern society and the recent decades of global tourism. Older architecture is well conserved on most islands and the city of La Laguna in Tenerife is a World Heritage Site.

Typical House in Tenerife, with a Subtropical Kentia Palm and Potted Cacti

Tenerife is the largest island, with about one million inhabitants; the island of Fuerteventura is the second in size, then Gran Canaria. There are two provinces: Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital city of the Western Islands and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria the capital of the Eastern Islands.

All the islands are volcanic in origin. All except La Gomera have been active in the last million years. The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain and one of the largest volcanoes on an island.Coordinates are about Lat. 28°N and Long. 15°W.

The climate is oceanic and relatively mild. It is Subtropical to Mediterranean at lower altitudes and Temperate to Alpine at higher elevations, where conspicuous snowfalls occur regularly. The NE trade winds keep cooler summers and cause a major difference between the Northern and Southern slopes of the highest islands. Northern coasts are cooler, cloudier and rainier, while the South is drier, sunnier and warmer. Local climate can be very wet or very dry in some parts of the islands.

Two mango trees in the dry mountains of Southern Anaga, Tenerife.

Local nature is marvelous, endemic and endangered. Four of Spain’s thirteen national parks are located in the Canary Islands: Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente in La Palma, Garajonay National Park in La Gomera, Teide National Park in Tenerife and Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote.

Fruiting papaya in the Canary Islands