Included here are the Atlantic islands of Madeira and Port Santo and the uninhabited Desertas and Salvage islands.

Madeiran Coastal Vegetation

The coastal slopes and cliffs of Madeira generally reach heights of about 100 m on the north coast and 300 m on the south coast but at Gabo Girao, west of Funchal, they reach a height of 540 m forming the second highest seacliffs in the world.  On the volcanic rocks of the maritime fringes, just above high tide, the widespread halophytes, Crithmum maritimum and Plantago coronopus are frequently encountered, while less common associates include the Madeiran endemic shrub Helichrysum obconium (Asteraceae) and the Macaronesian endemic forb Lotus glaucus (Fabaceae).  Further inland where the slopes are not too steep the indigenous vegetation consists of coastal thickets of the Madeiran endemics Echium nervosum (Boraginaceae), Euphorbia picatoria (Euphorbiaceae), Olea europaea subsp. maderensis (Oleaceae) and the Macaronesian endemic Globularia salicina (Globulariaceae). Other less common endemic shrubs here include Argyranthemum pinnatifidum, Artemisia argente, Helichrysum melaleucum (Asteraceae), Asparagus umbellatus subsp. lowei (Celastraceae), Chamaemeles coriacea (Rosaceae), Sideritis candicans (Lamiaceae), Sideroxylon marmulan (Sapotaceae) and Visnea mocanera (Theaceae). The miniature shrub Plantago arborescens also thrives in the coastal zone. It is a macaronesian endemic with one subspecies in Madeira and one on the Canary Islands. Dracaena draco (Dracaenaceae), the dragon tree, is one of the few trees found near the coast, although it used to be much more common in the arid regions of Madeira and Porta Santo. The species is mainly confined to Macaronesia, but also occus in southern Morocco. Another small coastal endemic tree is Maytenus umbellatus (Celastraceae). Among coastal succulent plants are the two endemic houseleeks Aeonium glandulosum and A. glutinosum (Crassulaceae). The first forms a remarkable, single, flat rosette capable of sticking to vertical cliffs, whereas A. glutinosum forms a small bush. Sedum nudum is another endemic member of this family frequently found in coastal regions. Among herbaceous elements are Musschia aurea (Campanulaceae), several members of the Asteraceae, including endemic Sonchus ustulatus subsp. maderensis, the endemic brassica Matthiola maderensis (Brassicaceae) and the Macaronesian endemic Tolpis succulenta (Asteraceae).


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