Late spring and early summer is Tajinaste time up on Mount Teide, a time when the wild and rugged mountain landscape is briefly tamed by the blooms of a number of brightly coloured plants, most of which are endemic to the island of Tenerife.
Tajinaste rojo, or Echium wildpretii to give it its correct name, is the most spectacular, a species of bugloss which can grow to over 10ft tall.
Echium is a genus of around 60 species of flowering plant which flourish across Africa, Europe, Madeira and the Canary Islands. Some species are also found in east Asia and Australia.
The sub-alpine zones of the ravines around Mount Teide are the native habitat of the Tajinaste variant, which thrives under the hot sun and the arid and dry conditions there. It can also tolerate temperatures as low as -5C.
A herbaceous biennial, the Tajinaste’s two-year cycle sees it form a dense cluster of leaves in its first growing season, followed by tall and thick stems of bright red flowers in its second year.
Round about now is the perfect time of year to see the Tajinaste in its full glory, along with a host of other colourful and exotic plants endemic to Las Cañadas del Teide, the huge caldera that surrounds the volcanic peak.