2010 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The rolling hills of Musaceae

Finalist - In Praise of Plants

This picture was taken on 23rd July 2009 during a private stay in the „Jardín de aclimatación de La Orotava“ in Tenerife/Spain. The garden was built in the 18th century to acclimate exotic plants for the king’s gardens in Spain. Most plants adapted well to the climate in Tenerife but the transfer to the Spanish mainland failed. The garden gained international reputation in the 19th century and became famous for its diversity of plants from Europe, Africa and America which are growing side by side thanks to the specific climatic and orographic conditions of the island.


Rising up to the sky the giant leaves of this banana shrub (Musaceae) intrigued me because of their delicate nuances in green and yellow and their clear and fine structures. It was only with this exposure that I found a composition which I found convincing. The spine of the leaf is placed horizontally and almost symmetrically in the middle of the picture. The natural backlight of the sky plays with the subtle colours of the leaf and gives an impression of strange scenery of green rolling hills over an unreal mirror finish of water.