Box groves

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Box groves

La Bojeda, Puerto de Tíscar

The box groves are one of the most surprising plant formations in the Nature Reserve. Their presence is extraordinary for several reasons: one, because they no longer exist south of Spain and Portugal; two, because many northern species find shelter in them; three, because household utensils made of box (Buxus sempervirens) have become popular; and four, because they prevent soil erosion in riverbeds and slopes.

There are many places where you can find box groves. They grow in dense, almost impenetrable groves along streams and in canyons but you can also see them on the slopes of Las Banderillas, where they colonise the mountains almost to the summit. There are also box groves to be found in any canyon in Sierra de las Villas, in Cerrada de Elías canyon, and on the banks of the Borosa river and the stream that flows past Los Molinos mills in Siles. It is an easy drive to any of these places, but we recommend a spot that is off the beaten tourist track, although equally easy to get to by car: a canyon known as La Bojeda.

La Bojeda is an extensive box grove accompanied by deciduous species such as maple (Acer granatense), Montepelier maple (Acer monspessulanum), common whitebeam (Sorbus aria), wild service trees (Sorbus torminalis) and Quercus fainea. Box groves look like a uniform, perennially green carpet because inside them it is too dark and damp for other plants to grow. Box groves only turn dark green to reddish brown when winters are very bitter. This is a defence mechanism against the cold. Other species shed their leaves but box has perennial leaves, the strategy developed by this species.



To get to La Bojeda, you must go to the Tiscar pass, on the road from Quesada to Pozo Alcón, if that is the direction you are taking. When you reach the pass, continue for around one kilometre until you come to a crossroads with a forest track on your left. Here you can park and continue on foot for just over 3 km. You will hardly notice the distance owing to the spectacular panoramic views all along the way.

X coordinates: UTM: 30 S VG 99 83 499707
Y coordinates: UTM: 30 S VG 99 83 4183749
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