The Canary Islands have been called the Galapagos of the botanical world because of the large number of unique plants. There are more than 800 species endemic to the seven islands, many of them found on only one island or even a small part of one island. Of the Canarian plants, many are now widely cultivated around the world. The Canary palm Phoenix canariensis is frequent in California and Florida and many of the Aeoniums or houseleeks are popular among succulent enthusiasts. There are a number of Canarian plants that resemble daisies and grow well in frost free gardens.
The Nauplius are a small genus of semi woody shrubs endemic to the Canary Islands and North Africa. They have small and silky gray leaves and yellow flowers. The silky hairy goldstar Nauplius sericeus is the most attractive species for gardens and forms a dense shrub covered in flowers during the late spring. It thrives in sunny conditions and will tolerate temperatures down to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Gonospermums or Canarian tansies are a large and variable genus of daisy-like plants found only on the Canary islands. Some species, such as Gonospermum fruticosum have lost their petals and produce globular yellow flowers in flat clusters. Others, such as G. revolutum, bear clusters of flowers and inch across with white petals and a yellow centre. Most are sun loving, annual species that are best grown from seed.
Endemic to the Canary Islands and the nearby Madeira archipelago the Argyranthemum genus is closely related to the Chrysanthemums. There are at least 20 species on the islands, mostly woody perennial shrubs with daisy-like flowers with white or yellow petals and a yellow centre. They are sun loving and grow easily from seed. Argyranthemums or Canary Marguerites make good container plants and will flower all summer long. Argyranthemum frutescens is the most widely cultivated species.
The genus Pericallis consists of 14 species of annual and perennial plants native to the Canary islands and nearby Madeira. Most are closely related to the Cinerarias or South African groundsels and bear attractive clusters of pink or purple flowers during the spring. Some species, such as Pericallis hadrosoma from Gran Canaria are critically endangered in the wild while others, such as the annual P. webbii are common and widespread. Pericallis hybrids are now a hugely popular flowering house plant with a wide range of colors and patterns available. They are best grown in high shade and well drained soil.