DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Flora: OF BROMELIADS AND GRASSES  
 

This page collects photos from the botanical Order of Poales, which in the Southern Cordillera is mainly concerned with the bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) and the grasses (Poaceae).  The bromeliads or pineapple family contains some 2000 species, many of them epiphytic, but it is largely a tropical family and while there are some large examples in the Andes, they are exceptions.

Grasses are considered 'flowering plants', but their 'flowers' are somehow not the type which attract photographers.  Therefore, the grasses which are in this collection are there because they have some other unusual aspect or importance.

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The world's largest bromeliad is Puya raimondii, which grows in a very few localities high in the Andes of Bolivia and Peru.  Here it is starting its massive stalk, which can reach as high as ten meters. Click to see big picture (317x480 pixels; 49 KB)
From an mountain shoulder to south of La Paz, Bolivia, a Puya raimondii looking north toward Nevado Illimani.  In Bolivia the plant is locally known as Tica-tica or Achucpalla. Click to see big picture (640x417 pixels; 49 KB)
The lovely blue-flowered Chagual (Puya berteroniana) is a large and showy resident of central Chile. Click to see big picture (449x480 pixels; 133 KB)
A close-up of the Chagual flower and a photo of the entire plant. Click to see big picture (640x377 pixels; 97 KB)
A green-flowered Chagual, likely just a weird or immature form of P. berteroniana. Click to see big picture (312x480 pixels; 88 KB)
The last flower on a Puya alpestris.  This is a more alpine species, and its range extends farther south in Chile than the other blue-flowered species. Click to see big picture (378x480 pixels; 94 KB)
The usual yellow-flowered Chagual (Puya chilensis) of Chile. Click to see big picture (327x480 pixels; 73 KB)
Judging by foliage, I suspect this is the other yellow-flowered Chagual species, Puya gilmartiniae. Click to see big picture (252x480 pixels; 44 KB)
The red stems and coastal habit mark this as Puya venusta, one of the species known as Chagual Chicos or Chagualillos. chagualcillo
From about the 4000 meter level in the Cordillera Negra of Peru, perhaps this is Puya argentea.  Well at least it is the right color and area.
This type of bromeliad is refered to as Puñeñe in Chile.  Taken on the shoreline near Puyuhuapi in the south, it appears to be Fascicularia bicolor. Click to see big picture (627x480 pixels; 145 KB)
Ochagavia carnea of central and southern Chile is known as both Puñeñe and Cardoncillo.  It is here blooming at Lotusland in California, however. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 154 KB)
The range of this 'pseudo pineapple' (Pseudoananas sagenaria) takes in eastern Peru and Bolivia, into northern Argentina.  It is mainly from more tropical areas to east of the Andes, but due to its attractive nature it tends to turn up in gardens, in this case the Kew itself. Click to see big picture (349x480 pixels; 89 KB)
Tillandsia cacticola is native to the wilds of northern Peru, but is here blooming at the Mattheai Botanical Gardens.
Several species of Tillandsia sp. form epiphytes on trees and bushes, even in the dry areas such as here in lowland La Rioja Province, Argentina.  There are several species involved, which are collectively known as 'Clavels del Aire'. clavel del aire
Also in that part of La Rioja there are many circles of this type.  They look like agave pups surrounding a expired parent, but there are not supposed to be any wild agaves in this region, so these are a terrestrial bromeliad.  There is actulally a book called Tillandsia del Norte de Chile y del Extremo Sur de Peru, by Raquel Pinto. Click to see big picture (533x480 pixels; 161 KB)
Tillandsia usneoides is common in wet forests of the Western Hemisphere.  It is one of the species known as Spanish Moss in English, and the equivalent Musco Español in Spanish, but here in southern Chile it tends to be called Heno. heno
A closer look at the La Rioja bromeliad.  It seems to be of the genus Deuterocohnia, likely D. longipetala, which is also found over in the Chilean atacama, but it might also be out the the Dyckia genus.  The local name is Chagual del Jote, in some areas. bromalid
Pitcairnia (or Puya) ferruginea at the Univ. Berkeley Bot. Gard.  This is a Peruvian Bromeliad, found from Ecuador to Bolivia. Click to see big picture (640x355 pixels; 103 KB)
Perhaps this beautiful purple-flowered Bromeliad from high in the Cordillera Negra of Peru is also a Pitcairnia. Click to see big picture (360x480 pixels; 104 KB)
A close-up of the florescence of the above-mentioned Bromeliad. Click to see big picture (360x480 pixels; 66 KB)
Messy.  The botanical gardens at Univ. at Berkeley classify this as Fascicularia bicolor, which is a native resident of central and southern Chile.  There seems to be two very different species filed under that name.
From the same gardens, Deuterocohnia brevifola.  This is an alpine mat plant found in the Andes of Argentinas Salta and Juyjuy Provinces.
On to the grasses.  Here in the Altiplano is the natural home of what are called 'Pampa Grasses' in English, and sometimes Cola de Zorro (fox tails) locally.  This one is likely Cortaderia speciosa. Click to see big picture (640x457 pixels; 130 KB)
From the swampy areas, this is likely Cortadaria selloana. cort sell
This darker version from farther south would be Cortaderia pilosa, which grows in central and south Chile and Argentina. Click to see big picture (370x480 pixels; 90 KB)
But in the steppes of southern Argentina, Cola de Zorro more often refers to this grass, which ripples with the wind.  Nassella neesiana??? Click to see big picture (640x433 pixels; 132 KB)
The common 'bunch-grass' which feeds the camelids, both wild and tame, across the Argentine steppes is known therefore as 'Coiron Llama'.  In latin terms it used to be simply called Stipa humilis, but the 'splitters' seem to have gotten hold of it and it is now one of many species of Jarava. Click to see big picture (311x480 pixels; 80 KB)
Everyone's least favorite grass, the sharp and painful Burr Grass or Sandspur.  This is likely Cenchrus incertus, in the Mendoza area, a species which has become very widespread due to the clinging ability of its seeds.
Switching to the Jaen area in northern Peru, a grass which looks more like a horse's tail.  Likely Paspalum saccharoides (approx.) Click to see big picture (374x480 pixels; 97 KB)
And in central Chile, the big-headed Briza Maxima.  This a foreign invader from North America, where it is known as Trembling Grass.  In Chile it translates as the Trembladera. Click to see big picture (245x480 pixels; 44 KB)
Avena fatua is known as Wild Oats.  It is native to Eurasia, but now spread throughout temperate parts of the world, and known here in Chile as               Avena Sylvestre.  It is an economically important weed in grain fields. Click to see big picture (351x480 pixels; 58 KB)
Cyperus eragrostis started its career in western North America, but has spread to wetlands in many parts of the world under names such as Tall Flatsedge.  Here in central Chile it is known as Cortadera.  Handsome, as sedges go. sedge
Bamboo is also a "grass", and in southern Chile the Chusquea sp.can climb trees and form impenetrable colonies.  Its periodic death was used to fuel the great fires of the 1940's, as described under land-use conflicts. Click to see big picture (299x480 pixels; 68 KB)
The species of Chusquea or difficult to tell apart, but here in the 11th province of Chile, Chusquea culeou seems to be the only one listed at low altitudes.
Apodasmia chilensis, the only member of the Restionaceae family (order Poales) in the region.  It looks like a common rush, but Univ. Berkeley Bot. Gardens knew the difference.  Home is the wetlands of southern Chile. Click to see big picture (256x480 pixels; 58 KB)