Walk in a tree heather forest

jowitt.europe Posts: 1,413 admin
edited November 2021 in Wild Edibles & Medicinals

Erica arborea, the tree heath or tree heather

I feel really blessed here on a canary island La Gomera. Yesterday we hiked in an ancient tree heather forest. Another spooky experience. Ages ago, the tree heathers used to cover huge parts of Europe. Alongside with Laurel forests. Now they can be admired only where nature is being preserved. It is like walking in the past.

Heather is used as a medicinal herb. Whether a tree heather has the same qualities??? I have to find out more. I have read that the timber is very hard and heat resistant. They used to make pipes of heather wood.

i share with you a few photos this time from heather forest


  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,362 admin

    Very interesting!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,518 admin

    These trees are amazing! I didn't know they existed. The branches and flowers certainly look like heather. They are living with lots of lichens, including one that looks very similar to Usnea. Areas of abundant lichen indicate pure air.

    We have many members of the Ericaceae family here, and they all have somewhat similar properties, so I was curious about this plant, too.

    Following a search, it seems that tree heather has very similar medicinal properties to the rest of the family. Diuretic and urinary antiseptic. Its also antiviral, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant.

    There is an essential oil made from this species, although I would think that it is quite rare. I couldn't find a supplier in a quick search.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,413 admin

    @torey thank you. This is what I assumed. I think that the same family should have similar properties. As we also have very many different species of ericaceae family, I will not collect any from here.

    The air is more than clean, thus I am not surprised to see these lichens. The only real industry is tourism and some agriculture like bananas. And there are only 20000 inhabitants on the whole island so the roads are almost empty apart from the capital with 9000 inhabitants. Even those few cars do not pollute much. A paradise of silence, clean air and hikes.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    Those are such beautiful pictures; my goodness, does that look relaxing. That is one thing about spring that I enjoy, getting back out into nature. Thanks for sharing!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,413 admin

    Travelling to warm countries is our way of extending the season of hikes on nature. But we will return early enough to have at least three months of real winter.