Corsican pine forests

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Corsican pine forests

Puerto Llano

The Corsican pine wood is one of the Nature Reserve’s botanical and scenic gems. The plant formation we are about to describe is considered indigenous to these mountains, since they only grow on the Reserve’s alpine slopes. It is a good idea not to be in a hurry when you set out to stroll through the indigenous pine wood in Puerto Llano. Most of the pines here are over 600 years old.

When you get back to the trail after your walk through the pine wood, look southwards if it is a clear day and you can make out Sierra Nevada in the distance. Look north and you’ll see the Gualay valley. The track winds its way past the huge rock cliffs of Cabañas peak and the boulders along the Cagasebo ridge.

The trees that predominate in the pine wood are Corsican pines (Pinus nigra salzamannii), sometimes accompanied by maples (Acer granatense), common whitebeams (Sorbus aria) and gall oaks (Quercus faginea). The undergrowth is made up of savin juniper (Juniperus sabina), common juniper (Juniperus communis hemisphaerica), barberries (Berberis vulgaris australis), mountain cherries (Prunus postrata), dwarf rosehips (Rosa sicula) and the odd broom, as well as a sort of wild oat (Helictotrichon filifolium), rock roses (Helianthemum croceum), crocuses (Crocus nevadensis), daffodils (Narcissus hedreanthus), dwarf thistles (Cirsium acaule) and other species that have no common name (Jasonia tuberosa, Plantago subulata, Festuca hystrix, etc.).

In this mountain area, the pines have always been known as Corsican pines or salgareños, in Spanish. The ethymology of the Spanish name is as beautiful as the tree it represents, for salgareño comes from sarga, the common name for several different types of willow. It refers to the smooth, graceful branches and the way the slender young pine trees stand tall and straight. Their slenderness and fine figure are what inspired the people who lived in these mountains to call their alpine pines salgareños.



To get to Puerto Llano, take the track that goes from the source of the Guadalquivir river to Pozo Alcón. Puerto Llano is the highest point on the track, where you are surrounded by a splendid forest of Corsican pines, known as salgareños in these mountains.

X coordinates: UTM: 30 S WG 03 85 503.642
Y coordinates: UTM: 30 S WG 03 85 4185567
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