The Toxo, Galicia and Toxo Travel.
We are Toxo Travel. The “Travel” is clear where it comes from, we are a travel agency, but … and Toxo? Where does it come from?
Well the “Toxo” (scientific name Ulex), called Gorse in English, Tojo in Spanish or Ajonc in French, is one of the most representative plants in Galicia. Extended throughout the Galician territory is a typical bush that we can see in most of the mountains, even also the lands that are no longer planted are taken by this prolific shrub, forming large extensions of a yellow and green landscape.
It is said that a single plant can produce 2o.ooo seeds, which can wait up to 70 years without germinating, waiting for the right moment to do so. When there is some kind of devastation in a field, the gorse is the first to repopulate the soil.
For all this we can say that it is an enterprising plant, strong and vigorous. Also beautiful, especially its flower, called “chorima”, a very characteristic and resistant yellow. At this point it is curious that the “toxo” seems to be always in bloom, and, in part, this is true, since in our land there are four varieties of this plant and each of them blooms in a different time, so both in our mountains the chorima has a habitual and quite constant presence. In fact a legend tells that God put these flowers in the toxos and the Devil, to annoy, put the thorns. In compensation, God allowed them to flourish all year. Of course, the legends have always been an attempt to explain a real or fabulous event adorned with fantastic elements. Even so, the lovers of yesteryear promised to love each other while the toxo was in bloom.
The species of toxo in Galicia are, as we said four; the toxo arnal (ulex europaeus), the toxo femia (ulex galii), the toxo gateño (ulex minor) and, finally, the toxo brañego (ulex michrantus).
The Arnal, is the largest variety (between 1 and 3 meters high) and larger spines. Its flowering is between spring and early summer.
The Toxo Femia, smaller than the arnal (from half a meter to a meter) and later flowering, in the middle of summer.
The Gateño, the smallest of all the “usual” toxins, does not usually exceed 80 centimeters in height. The flowering of this variety takes place in autumn.
Finally there is the Toxo Brañego, this variety is an endemism from the south of Galicia and north of Portugal, therefore with a very limited extension, and similar size to the crawfish (from 20 to 80 centimeters). The flowering of this toxin is in the month of April.
The beautiful and small flower that is the chorima, in addition to beautiful is full of properties, especially anti-inflammatory and beneficial for liver conditions.
To summarize, these words of the musical group Saraibas are worth to demonstrate the deep identification of our culture with toxo and chorima.
” Chorima nosa chorima, tan amarela no monte, ti é-la fror dos galegos, dos de onte e dos de hoxe. Fror de toxo, fror de toxo, fror da galeguidade as raíces son a ialma a chorima a saudade. Arrecendes os toxales, non te quixeches na casa, ergueita brava e ceibe como os galegos de raza. Somente a nosa terra abona a túa semente, chorima ti sí es nosa, fúche-lo e sera-lo sempre “
(Chorima our chorima, so yellow in the mountains, you are the flower of the Galicians, of yesterday and today.) Flower of gorse, flower of gorse, flower of Galicianity the roots are the soul and the chorima the nostalgia, scent of the gorse bushes, you did not want yourself in the house, brave and free like the Galician of race, only our soil nourishes your seed, you are ours, you have been and you will always be ours)