Terebinth woods

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Terebinth woods

Lancha de Pilatos, Borosa river

This cluster of terebinths grows around the Lancha de Pilatos, near the headwaters of the Borosa river, where the largest trees of this kind that can be found in the Nature Reserve grow.

Trees are the most popular types of plant formations but many of the mountains in this area are mostly covered in shrubs. Such is the case of terebinths, which are highly important from an ecological and scenic point of view, especially in autumn when the leaves turn almost red.

When you arrive at the hydroelectric plant, you are in the heart of the cluster of terebinths. In fact, you were already driving through them on your right one kilometre earlier, after the Huelga del Nidillo, where they grow on a steep rocky slope. At the end of the route, once you cross a bridge over the Barrosa river that leads to the hydroelectric plant, you can see large trees growing on the slope on your left. They look like oaks but if you look closer you’ll be surprised to see that they are sizeable terebinths. In autumn the leaves turn to a myriad of warm colours that range from orange to dark red.

Terebinths are associated with scant vegetation in their undergrowth due to the presence of livestock (wild and domestic hoofed animals) which benefits the trees because their shoots and seedlings are very poisonous and distasteful to livestock, who prefer other plants, therefore you are unlikely to find other species growing under the terebinths, especially if there is livestock in the area. Nonetheless, you’ll find holm oak (Quercus ilex ballota), Montepelier maple (Acer monpessulanum), broad-leafed Phillyrea (Phillyrea latifolia), juniper (Juniperus phoenicea), lentisco (Pistacia lenticus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), flax-leaved daphne (Daphne gnidium) and rosehip (Rosa ssp.), as well as herbaceous species, including wild peonies or mountain roses (Paeonia broteri), daisies (Rhagadiolus stellatus), wild gladioli (Gladiolus illyricus), and gramineae such as false brome (Brachypodium retusum), wiregrass and brome (Poa bulbosa, Agrostis ssp., Cynosurus echinatus, Aegilops geniculata, Arrhenatherum elatinus, etc.).

The common name for terebinths in Spanish is cornicabra, or goats’ horns, owing to the “galls” shaped like goats’ horns that occur in the leaves and shoots after being bitten by insects, which use them to feed their larvae.


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  • Terebinths (Pistacia terebintus) can be found on many rocky slopes in the Nature Reserve, since environments such as these are their natural habitat. You can find them covering the slopes near the Zumeta river, in the vicinity of Venta Ticiano, in the cracks of Peña Corba (Las Villas), on the slopes of the Yelmo Chico and in Cerrada del Utrero canyon, among other places.



Borosa itinerary, after the area known as La Central. To get to the terebinth forest, follow the Borosa river upstream along a path on the riverbank that ends at a hydroelectric plant. The path starts at the Borosa fish factory, a very well-known place. You have 8 km ahead of you but the path is not very steep and it is an easy walk. You follow the Borosa river the whole time, in one of the Nature Reserve’s most popular and spectacular routes.

X coordinates: UTM 30 S WH 16 03 516355
Y coordinates: UTM 30 S WH 16 03 4203650
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