Naranjero salvaje, bojo (Spa).
DID YOU KNOW...? There are only two natural specimens of Ilex perado subsp. lopezlilloi, making it one of the most threatened plants in the country.
This cousin of the small-leaved holly (Ilex canariensis) is up to 10 m tall and very branching from the base, generally with horizontal or ascending branches, although the lowest ones hang down. The trunk is straight, with normally smooth, whitish-greyish bark, and usually surrounded by root shoots. Its leaves are up to 15 cm long, simple, persistent, alternate, and with a variably shaped blade: the majority are oblong, but some are inversely ovate or almost spatulate. The leaf stalks are 1.5-2 cm long and slightly channelled. After fertilisation, the abundant white flowers, joined in clusters, give rise to small, fleshy balls (berries), up to 1 cm in diameter, very similar to those of its northern relative, the holly (Ilex aquifolium). When ripe, these small fruit become a bright, showy red colour that soon blackens.
This is a species of the best conserved and purest laurel forest, which grows preferentially between altitudes of 500 and 1100 m. It requires moderate temperatures and high environmental humidity, which is why it tends to grow in areas with frequent fog. This tree prefers well-structured, deep, organic-rich soils, and usually grows in closed, shady areas (like the lowest parts of valleys), although it does need some light to grow well.
Ilex perado is endemic to the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores. In the Canaries, the species is represented by the subspecies lopezlilloi (G. Kunkel) A. Hansen & Sunding, which grows exclusively on La Gomera, specifically in the Garajonay National Park, and the subspecies platyphylla (Webb & Berthel.) Tutin, which can be found on La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife. It is not a very common tree, although it is somewhat more frequent in the forests on the northern slope of the Anaga Massif (on the island of Tenerife).