Parrot’s Beak flowers

Parrot's Beak (Lotus pyranthus) in flower beside the road to the Roque de los Muchachos
Parrot's Beak (Lotus pyranthus) in flower

La Palma has lots of rare plants which grow nowhere else, and many of them are threatened by grazing or habitat loss. This is one of two species called Parrot’s Beak or Fire Beak (Lotus pyranthus), both of them very rare in the wild and officially classified as “in danger of extinction”.

But here it is growing beside the road to the Roque. Mind you, it’s not exactly wild – it was planted out behind a fence last year, where the Barbary sheep, rabbits and goats can’t get at it. Clearly it’s working because they’re now flowering, and very pretty they are too.

And no, I didn’t go inside the fence. I got this photo by leaning over it, in the most uncomfortable way, and I’m glad I made the effort.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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