Oak groves and juniper

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Oak groves and juniper

Las Navillas, Peña Gallinera

The groves of holm oak (Quercus ilex ballota) and juniper (juniperus oxicedrus) are a unique feature of these limestone mountains. Groves that comprise only holm oaks and juniper are rarely seen, because normally they include ilex, pine and patches of Mediterranean forest.


Here they grow on steep rocky slopes in sparsely populated forests that include the odd pine (Pinus nigra salzmannii, Pinus pinaster and Pinus halepensis), depending on the altitude and orientation of the slope, as well as terebinths (Pistacia terebinthus), butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) and a series of grasses, including wiregrass and brome (Poa bulbosa, Cynosurus echinatus, Aegilops geniculata, Aegilops tryuncialis, Arrhenatherum elatinus y Brachypodium retusum), daisies (Rhagadiolus stellatus) and wild gladioli (Gladiolus illyricus). These forests are very similar to terebinth groves, with which they often overlap.

 

LOCATION

Starting at the Recreational Area in Linarejos, take the hiking trail that goes up the mountain. If you are on the right track, you will pass a quarry and a barrier. Around 3 km from the Recreational Area, turn left onto a track that leads you through a rocky labyrinth. It is a corrie, where the holm oak and juniper grove is to be found. There are two tracks on your left, one right after the other, and both lead to the corrie. The terrain is quite difficult, so if you prefer not to go too far, you can also see the grove from the main track.



X coordinates: UTM: 30 S WG 07 98 507546
Y coordinates: UTM: 30 S WG 07 98 4198831
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