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Armeria caespitosaThe Sierra de Guadarrama presents a high floristic diversity favored by multiple factors, related mainly with their geographical location. This position has allowed the existence of transitional characteristics between the Mediterranean and the Euro-Siberian regions. In that sense, the Sierra de Guadarrama has acted as a refuge for colder environments which had a wider distribution in the past and have disappeared from the neighboring territories.

In addition, the defendant altitudinal gradient of the Sierra de Guadarrama generates a high variability of climatic factors and soil in a relatively small area of land, which results in the existence of a large number of habitats. Their isolation, as a major mountain range in the heart of the Castilian plateau, has led to significant processes of endemicity.

Although there are no definitive studies that allow us to calculate exactly the number of vascular plants that inhabit in the area of the National Park, approximately there are about 1,680 taxa between species and subspecies.

Most of these taxa corresponds to angiosperms, the dicotyledons (over 75%), monocotyledons (around 20%) have lower representation, and a small number of gymnosperms and Pteridophytes. About more than half of the world's flora is made up of herbaceous perennials, around 30% by annual herbaceous, around 15% by trees and shrubs, and almost 4% by species related to the aquatic environment.

The National Park flora contains, for the most part, representative taxa of flora and vegetation from the Mediterranean high and mid-range mountains ecosystems. Due to the location of these mountains in the central area of the Iberian Peninsula, the territory receives a notable Northern influence, especially in the high areas and valleys toward the north. There is therefore a significant finicola flora component, that is to say, species which have their optimum distribution on the European continent and reach the Central System, having their southern limit of distribution in these mountains or in other Iberian mountain ranges. Examples of these species are Epilobium angustifolium, Eryngium bourgatii, Fraxinus excelsior, Gentiana lutea, Paris quadrifolia, Phyteuma hemisphaericum, Quercus petraea, Ulmus glabra, Vaccinium myrtillus, etc.

Adenocarpus hispanicusAnother very important floristic element in the National Park flora is the endemic element, made up mainly of wallflower Iberian endemism, some of them exclusive to the Central System and a few limited to the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains and adjacent mountains. Among these endemic species we can mention some very representative of the Sierra de Guadarrama, as the Adenocarpus hispanicus, Armoury caespitosa, Campanula herminii, carpetanus, Digitalis thapsi Crocus , carpetanum Doronicum, Festuca curvifolia, pentadactylis Linaria nivea, Saxifraga subsp. Vicentei willkommiana, Sempervivum, etc.

Throughout the whole National Park its Peripheral Protection Zone floristic catalog, approximately 446 taxa would form the flora of interest, belong to any of the following categories: endemic species, species in the area limit, rare and endangered species. Among these, about half would correspond to endemic species and the rest to finicola species. Only one fourth of these species of interest are protected in the flora legal protection catalogs (Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species, Madrid Regional Catalog of Endangered Species, Castilla y León Protected Flora).

List of protected species

SpeciesCommon nameComments
Amelanchier ovalis Snowy mespilus CREAM (vulnerable)
Androsace vitaliana subsp. assoana   LR (vulnerable)
Betula pendula Birch CREAM (special interest)
Betula pubescens subsp. celtiberica Birch CREAM (special interest)
Carex furva   CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Carex umbrosa subsp. huetiana   CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Corydalis intermedia   FPCL (focus)
Corylus avellana Hazel CREAM (special interest)
Eleocharis quinqueflora   CREAM (special interest)
Epilobium angustifolium   CREAM (vulnerable)
Eriophorum latifolium Broad-leaved cottongrass CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Erodium paularense Geranium from el Paular

The EAEC (vulnerable), LR (endangered),
CREAM (vulnerable)

Erysimum humile subsp. penyalarense   LR (endangered)
Fraxinus excelsior Downy birch CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Gentiana lutea Yellow gentian CREAM (special interest)
Geranium bohemicum   FPCL (focus)
Geum rivale   CREAM (vulnerable)
Ilex aquifolium Holly CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Isoetes velatum   CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Juncus alpinoarticulatus subsp. alpestris   CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Juncus bulbosus   CREAM (vulnerable)
Juniperus thurifera Albar juniperr CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Lilium martagon Martagon Lily CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Luzula caespitosa   CREAM (vulnerable)
Luzula sylvatica subsp. henriquesii   CREAM (vulnerable)
Lycopodiella inundata   LR (vulnerable), CREAM (in danger of extinction)
Malus sylvestris Wild apple tree CREAM (special interest)
Melittis melissophyllum Barstard balm CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Menyanthes trifoliata Water clover CREAM (vulnerable)
Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. confusus Spanish daffodil CREAM (in danger of extinction)
Neottia nidus-avis   CREAM (vulnerable)
Paris quadrifolia Herb paris CREAM (vulnerable)
Pedicularis schizocalyx   CREAM (vulnerable)
Phyteuma spicatum   CREAM (vulnerable)
Pinguicola grandiflora Large-flowered butterwort CREAM (vulnerable)
Polystichum lonchitis   CREAM (in danger of extinction)
Potamogeton polygonifolius   CREAM (vulnerable)
Prunus avium Wild cherry CREAM (special interest)
Prunus padus Bird cherry CREAM (vulnerable)
Pyrola minor   CREAM (vulnerable)
Quercus petraea Oak CREAM (special interest)
Ranunculus abnormis   CREAM (vulnerable)
Ranunculus valdesii   CREAM (vulnerable), FPCL (focus)
Rosa villosa   CREAM (special interest)
Sambucus nigra Elderberry CREAM (special interest)
Secale montanum   CREAM (vulnerable)
Senecio boissieri   CREAM (special interest)
Sorbus aria Whitebeam CREAM (special interest)
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan CREAM (special interest)
Sorbus latifolia Broad-leaved whitebeam CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Spiranthes aestivalis   FPCL (focus)
Stachys alpina   CREAM (vulnerable)
Taxus baccata   CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration), FPCL (focus)
Ulmus glabra Wych elm CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration)
Utricularia australis   CREAM (vulnerable)
Utricularia minor   LR (endangered), CREAM (sensitive to habitat alteration), FPCL (focus)
Vaccinium myrtillus Blueberry CREAM (special interest)
Veratrum album False hellebore CREAM (special interest)
Viburnum opulus Guelder rose CREAM (special interest)

The EAEC, Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species.
CREAM, Madrid Regional Catalog of Endangered Species.
FPCL, Castilla y León Protected Flora.
LR, Red List of Spanish Vascular Flora.

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