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Hanging gardens: Rock plants

Singular places

, Cazorla
How to get

Poyo Sequillo and Cerrada de San Ginés

Small rock-plant formations abound in the Nature Reserve, owing to the number of rock walls there, some of which are damp and others dry.


Limestone absorbs water like a sponge and stores it, enabling a myriad of plants to grow in cracks in the stone and on narrow ledges. Some species live on rocks out of pure need, for they afford protection from herbivores.

The plant formations that grow on rocks can be classified into two groups: those that grow on dry walls and those that prefer running damp walls. The latter are scarcer. The best places for seeing both types of rock-plants are Las Villas mountains, on the dry walls in Poyo Sequillo and on the damp walls of Cerrada de San Ginés.

In the Poyo Sequillo area you can also enjoy a stunning view of the Sierra de Las Villas and its scale-like geological formations. Rock-plants abound, including Cazorla violets (Viola cazorlensis), burnets (Sanguisorba rupestris), rock tea (Jasonia glutinosa), Geranium cataractarum, Teucrium rotundifolium, thyme (Thymus orospedanus) and cinquefoils (Potentilla caulescens).

In the Cerrada de San Ginés canyon you can find an indigenous carnivorous plant known as butterwort (Pinguicula vallisnerifolia), as well as throatwort (Trachelium caeruleum), Cazorla hyacinth (Silla reverchinii), cinqfoils (Potentilla caulescens) – which grow both in dry and humid environments – , maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris), maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes) and species that have no common name, such as Galium erytrorrhizon. The itinerary is just over one kilometre long and we highly recommend it, for in this small canyon dry walls alternate with walls that are running damp.



As you enter the Las Villas mountains from Mogón, Santo Tomé or Chilluévar, you pass the Aguascebas reservoir. A few kilometres further on, in a place known as the Collado del Pocico, you will see a series of rock cliffs bordering the right side of the road, colonised by a large number of rock species.



Stay on the same road, go over the Collado de la Traviesa hill and the farmhouse of the same name, and you will come to the Gil Cobo recreational area. Park your car and take the track on right, just before the bridge that crosses the Aguacebas de Gil Cobo river. A short walk will take you to the walls that are running damp. After walking 500 m, you will see a huge rock face with a rock-plant community growing on its damp walls.

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