Trees

Acebiño (Ilex canariensis)

Do you like Ilex Canariensis ? This is also called Acebiño and is a small tree native to the Canary Islands, which in addition to being an emblem of that area, its wood is used for different types of constructions and manufacture of various materials. If you want to know more about this species of trees, in this article we will tell you about its characteristics and properties.

What is Ilex canariensis?

It is known as acebiño or with the scientific name of Ilex Canariensis, a tree that usually has a small to medium size, sometimes reaching 20 meters in height, but generally measuring between 5 and 10 meters.

This tree is considered a Macaronesian endemism, since it has a unique distribution area in the world that is precisely the archipelagos that make up Macaronesia, that is, the Canary Islands, Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira and the Wild Islands.

In its 10 meters in height, an olive tree can show an infinity of branches, an abundant foliation or quantity of leaves and a smooth bark that usually has grayish tones among other colors. Its glass is very dark, so leafy.

Characteristics of the Ilex Canariensis

The trunk of the Ilex Canariensis can reach approximately 50 centimeters in diameter, at the base of which shoots are usually produced, which are commonly called suckers.

Its leaves are simple, leathery, alternate and hairless and can measure up to 9 centimeters in length and 4 in width. These have a bright and intense green color, which has a lot to do with the humidity of the ecosystem where they live. That shine becomes duller towards the underside.

These leaves show small spines on the edges when they are in early age and a corner that does not exceed a centimeter in length, all characteristics very similar to those of the wild orange tree, which is known in botany as Ilex crenata.

The way to distinguish the hollyhock from the orange tree is to look at their adult leaves, since in the hollyhock they have a more or less rounded termination and while the other tree presents them in the shape of a point. The hollyhock has dioecious flowers, because there are both male and female specimens.

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All Ilex Canariensis flowers have a total of 5 white petals and are found in the terminal area of ​​the branches, grouped in small inflorescences, generally next to the corner of the leaves.

The impressive red color of its fleshy fruits, approximately one centimeter in diameter, tends to darken as they ripen. These appear on the Ilex Canariensis tree at the end of spring and inside they can contain between 4 and 6 seeds.

These seeds will be responsible for generating new holly trees in the area, something that would make their natural proliferation very costly due to fruit fall, but is offset by the actions of birds, which eat this fruit and excrete its seeds, dispersing them throughout the forest to generate new specimens.

The place of development of the Ilex Canariensis is Laurisilva, or temperate forest with persistent foliage. This has a large amount of constant humidity and intermittent rainfall throughout the year, so there is no dry season, something that is very beneficial for its growth.

The laurel forest, in addition to being found in other places, for example in South America and China, is also part of this group of archipelagos that make up Macaronesia, the place of origin of the Ilex Canariensis.

Applications

  • Its wood is widely used for the construction of fences, channels and some utensils that are used in daily life. Crooks and rods were also made among other things.
  • It is usually used to make preparations, due to the healing properties of the bark.
  • Its wood has also been used for export boxes, which were used by the sugar industry.

You already know everything about the Ilex Canariensis, also known as Acebiño, a species that if you want to see it, you must travel to the Canarian archipelago and its surroundings.

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