Species list


Rhamnus glandulosa


Sanguino, sanguinero, sanguiñero (Spa).


DID YOU KNOW...? The leaves of this tree are often food for the caterpillars of a striking butterfly known as 'Cleopatra' or 'Canary lemon', which is endemic to the Canary Islands.


A medium-sized evergreen tree, generally 5-8 m tall with a short trunk up to 40 cm in diameter and dense foliage. The bark is dark brown (reddish on new branches) and has characteristic, almost white, vertical cracks. With age, these cracks become wider and deeper, and some begin to emanate a sap that becomes reddish in contact with the air, giving the tree its Spanish name of sanguino, or 'the bloody tree'. It can be distinguished by its small, simple, alternate leaves, 4-7 cm long by 2.5-4 cm wide, that have a finely serrated margin, several pronounced glands next to the main nerve reminiscent of those on the stinkwood (Ocotea foetens), although the leaves of that tree have an entire margin. The blade is somewhat leathery and has very clear veins. It is almost ovate or rounded in shape, with a pointed tip. The leaf stalks are channelled and reddish-green. The blossom is very abundant but rather inconspicuous. The tree mainly blooms in the winter, producing numerous small, greenish flowers grouped into upright clusters. The fruits are fleshy, round, a little more than 1 cm in diameter, and reddish, although the part most exposed to the sun usually becomes darker. When ripe, they tend to split into three parts, releasing ochre- or pale coffee-coloured seeds.


It prefers cool, humid, sunny spots, protected from the wind. This tree is not linked to any particular tree formation and, therefore, specimens can be found as solitary trees or form copses, known as sanguinales in Spanish, throughout the laurel forests, both in well-conserved zones and degraded land in the Morella-Erica heath, and even in mixed pine groves. It lives on cool platforms and rock faces, as well as in warm, moist ravine bottoms, normally between altitudes of 600 and 1000 m.


Rhamnus glandulosa is endemic to Macaronesia. It can be found on Madeira, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, although it is relatively scarce in the Canaries.