Flora in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park
The most emblematic symbol of the Sierra de Grazalema Park, as well as the rarest and one of the most attractive, is the Spanish fir. It is one of the 9 types of fir tree in the Mediterranean basin, but is a true relic, a species that has survived from prehistoric times, a descendent of the central European fir trees that were present in vast forests during the last glacial periods. Covering 400 hectares, Sierra del Pinar is the best conserved Spanish fir forest in the Iberian Peninsula: in fact, the only other forests of note are in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Sierra Bermeja (Estepona) and in the north of Morocco.
In spite of their hardy nature (or maybe because of it), they flourish on the northern facing mountain slopes, protected from strong sunshine and the subsequent loss of humidity. Spanish fir forests are therefore relatively dark, with the lower branches lacking needles and the ground around them with very little vegetation.
Due to the high levels of humidity in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, there are numerous other species of trees in densely wooded areas, either on the slopes of hills, in the mountains, or on the banks of the several rivers and water systems. The typical Mediterranean forest of holm oak, cork oak, Portuguese oak and carob is well represented, as are riverine trees requiring year round water: elms, willows and poplars.
Of over 1,400 plant species