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Hurdes - Region - Nature - Flora
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Flora

To talk about flora in "Las Hurdes" is to talk about variety and coexistence between native trees and plants, and also about the reforestation made in the region. The little we know about the vegetation of "Las Hurdes" becomes visible on its precipices and territories.

When we come in "Las Hurdes" we see a green landscape falling like a sheet over the mountain ranges, dying everything in greenness and freshness. Most we will be able to see is the fresh greenness of the pines, a tree used for reforestation. But this impression does not reveal the true native fauna of "Las Hurdes", that becomes only visible from recondite paths and in virginal landscapes.

We can find interesting combinations like forest of evergreen oaks and strawberry-trees regions with thick vegetation, junipers on rocky slopes, erles by the bank of the rivers, or the mixed forest of oaks, evergreen oaks , cork oaks and mountain oaks, which are in a exceptional state of conservation.

The presence of some rare trees like holly-trees and mainly yew-trees forms a natural environment which has not been appreciated good enough in general, being only reachable for patient and adventurous walkers.

Types of FLORA:

Evergreen oak

This species is native of the region and very abundant. It appears on the lower levels of the mountain ranges as well as between the slates of the highest slopes.

Strawberry-tree

Its particular fruits are good food for the fauna. It appears in the high regions as well as in lower zones.

Yew- tree

Generical name Taxus. It grows generally isolated or under the protection of other forests and is poisonous for humans. It is also one of the oldest species of Europe, existing since the Tertiary Age. It represents a true botanical relic living in the north of the province "Cáceres".

In "Los Tejales del El Cerezal", a zone in "Las Hurdes", we can find the ones with the best level of conservation in all "Extremadura". This region has been since 27th. April the first protected area in "Las Hurdes".

The yew-tree is generally a small tree, growing up from 6 until 12 metres. Its pyramidal top is formed by ascending branches with aciculate leaves in green colour- on one side darker than on the other- placed on a double row forming something like a brush. The trunk is long and irregular and its bark has a dark red colour.

It lives in the precipices and shady slopes with fresh grounds, preferentially of calc, although it can also adapt to silicon. It is possible to be found in altitudes from sea-level until 2.000 metres. This species presents an amply ecological variety.

We find more types of flora like alders, willows, ash- trees , holly- trees, brambles, oaks, etc., and also some cultivated species like chestnut-, olive-, and cherry- trees.

The Millenary Tree: "The Juniper of Mestas" (Picture by LAS MESTAS)

This venerable tree is located few kilometres from "Las Mestas", just at the beginning of the ascent to the monastery "Las Batuercas" and inside the village, on the left and little more elevated than the rest. This singular tree with the estimated age of 350 years is supposed to have been brought from the mountains near to "Las Batuercas".

This urban tree is planted in a small space of 75 square metres in a slate-ground between two buildings. It has an atypical silhouette having a heavy and high trunk, clean of branch, and a top in form of a pendulum. It branches out at about 9 metres high forming a kind of web, which rises at the beginning and then quickly bend forming this particular form, which reaches almost its base.

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