Almost one hundred plant species have been found in La Caldera. This wealth of biological diversity is possible thanks to the vast range of different ecosystems that make up the ecological mosaic of the Park.
The forests of Canary Island pine trees (Pinus Canariensis) cover most of the National Park. No other tree can compete with this born survivor, which can send out new shoots immediately after a fire. The pine needles, known as pinillo on La Palma, cover the soil to prevent new species from appearing. Only a few plants like the Canary cum (a species of cistus) and the birdsfoot trefoil, which also benefit from the fire, have managed to survive in its shadow .
Another group of plants which are worth mentioning are those that grow on the most inhospitable rocks and walls of the National Park. These include houseleeks, like the Aeonium nobile, or noble houseleek, which is considered the most spectacular. It blossoms only once, immediately prior to dying, but it does so in a most spectacular way. Other peculiar members of this group are the wall lettuces, whose leaves fall when it gets hot.
inally, we have to make a special mention of the scrub vegetation of the peaks, which is one of the most appreciated and valuable treasures of the Caldera flora. As a matter of fact, La Palma, together with Tenerife, is the only Canary Island where we can find this type of vegetation. An extreme example is Helianthemum cirae, a species so rare that was first discovered in 1992. The cedar tree, the only tree that can stand the solar radiation and extreme temperatures, fixes itself to the rocks, forming strange and twisted shapes with their trunks. Thecodeso or sticky broom (a kind of resistant broom plant), livens up the rocks with its gracious yellow colour. And, of course we cannot forget the beautifulViola palmensis (a very rare species of violet), with its intense indigo colour, known as pensamientos de la cumbre, or “mountain thoughts” by the people of La Palma.