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Scalesia forest in Santa Cruz
© Jennifer Linton

Common name:


Scientific name:

Scalesia spp.

Spanish name:

Árbol de la margarita

Conservation status:



Average size:

15 metres


Scalesia is a genus of the family Asteraceae that is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. They consist of 15 native shrubs and tree species with six subspecies. Other members of the Asteraceae family are daisies, lettuces, marigolds and chamomiles. Scalesia have been referred to as the Darwin’s finch of the plant world due to their great ability of adaptive radiation. Each of the species has adapted to the different vegetation zones across the different islands. 

A zone in the highlands of some islands is referred to as the Scalesia Zone, which is a lush cloud forest and home to the largest of the Scalesia species. The dominant species is dependent on the island. S. pedunculata is dominant on Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Floreana and Santiago, while S. cordata is dominant on Isabela and S. microcephala on Fernandina. From a distance the vegetation looks like a hummocky bog land, but under the canopy, mosses, bromeliads, epiphytes and orchids thrive.


Scalesia in Galapagos

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