THE NATIVE FLORA OF LOS CABOSLos Cabos is well-known for its gorgeous beaches and amazing sea life, but the water isn’t the only beauty in the area. The deserts also offer an amazing look into nature. Along with a wide array of wildlife, the Baja California region is home to a variety of flora, or plant life. Today’s blog from Lifestyle Villas takes a look at some of the beautiful flora you can observe up close while you’re vacationing in Los Cabos!
Cabos San Lucas is one of the most diverse and interesting desert ecosystems in the world. Just a short drive into the desert and you’ll be among some of the most fascinating landscapes imaginable. There you’ll find the following flora:
The plant most commonly associated with desert environments is the cactus. At the Baja California Peninsula, close to 120 species of cactus have been identified. One of the most commonly spotted cacti is the cardon, which is the tallest of them all. They can grow to heights of 18 meters, weigh up to 12 tons, and live for hundreds of years. Less common, but also unique to the Los Cabos area, is the biznaga or barrel cactus. It only lives on a few islands in the Sea of Cortez. It features red-tinged spines and blooms yellow and red flowers in the spring. The pitahaya dulce or organ pipe cactus produces a watermelon-like fruit. Multiple kinds of cholla and nopal, or prickly pear, grow throughout the Los Cabos region as well. The nopal is edible, and is commonly found on menus up and down the Baja California Peninsula.
The agave plant is particularly special in Mexico because it is used to make tequila. In Baja, you will find 9 different types of agave. These plants are pollinated most commonly by bats and flower only after several years. Many of them are edible. In addition to making tequila, agave has a variety of other uses too. These include eating the fruit and flowers from it, boiling the roots to soften soap or leather, and/or weaving the leaves into sandals, baskets, mats, etc.
The ironwood tree used to be very common in the Los Cabos area. However, it has been logged extensively on the Baja California Peninsula in order to get raw material for wood carving. It is a hard, hot-burning wood that is perfect for homemade crafts. If you browse the local shops of San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas, you’re sure to find marlin and sailfish carved out of ironwood.
A variety of herbs used for cooking and for medicine thrive in the hot, dry climate of the Los Cabos area. White sage can be found on rocky hillsides, while the rare chia grows only in the desert areas. However, the herb most commonly associated with the area is damiana, which can be consumed either as a tea or in a liqueur. It was believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. When vacationing in Los Cabos, if you see a margarita on the menu, chances are it contains damiana liqueur instead of triple sec.
As the iconic symbol associated with tropical environments, palm trees are even more spectacular when you see them growing in the wild, clinging to the walls of deep canyon. You will find 7 different varieties of palm trees in and around Cabo San Lucas. The endemic blue fan palm with bluish-colored leaves, the tlaco palm, the smallest palm found in Baja and the Mexican fan palm, the tallest palm in Baja are just a few of the varieties you’ll see. The coconut palm, featuring feather-leaves, is a very common sight all around the Los Cabos region.
Visit beautiful Los Cabos and take in the whole nature experience. From water activities like snorkeling and scuba diving to land activities such as hiking and horseback riding through the desert, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Book your stay in one of our luxury villas in Los Cabos today by calling 1-888-655-9589. Your Lifestyle specialist can assist you in not only making your Los Cabos accommodations reservations, but also planning a unique itinerary to fit the needs of your group. What are you waiting for? Come explore the flora of Los Cabos and more!
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