DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Flora: THE CAPACHITOS  

 

Capachito is one of the more common names in Latin America for plants of the Calceolaria genus, which is the backbone of the Calceolariaceae Family.  This family is thought to have almost 400 members ranging from Mexico to Patagonia, with well over one hundred of these in the Southern Cordillera.  Although there are three genera, the great majority of the species are Calceolaria, and as often happens where there is a nexus of speciation within a genus, it becomes difficult to identify photographs to species level with certainty.

In gardening circles, the English names for these plants is usually either Slipper Flower or Ladies Purse.   Beside Capachito (little hood), the names used in the Southern Cordillera include Arguenitas (little saddlebags), and especially the species with protruding lower lips are likely to be called Zapatitos (little shoes).  The Latin name is also derived from 'shoemaker'.

 

In a genus dominated by yellow flowers, there are a few that found a purple gene.  This may be the most attracative, a mottled flower, Calceolaria cana, known locally as either Capachito Canoso or Salsilla.  Canoso means hoary or grey-haired, which seems quite unfair.  South-central Chile. Click to see big picture (452x480 pixels; 47 KB)
The alpine Calceolaria arachnoidea is a plant of altitude, that goes by the local names of Capachito Morado or Relbun. Click to see big picture (320x480 pixels; 107 KB)
And then there is Calceolaria purpurea, which is mainly found in central Chile. Click to see big picture (537x480 pixels; 68 KB)
Starting the yellow flowers in Peru, Calceolaria tomentosa may be the largest of all the Calceolaria flowers.  It hence gets a horicultural boost, here from the Univ. Berkeley Botanical Gardens.  How would you like a chin like that? Click to see big picture (595x480 pixels; 104 KB)
From the same source, Calceolaria hypericina is at home in the mountains of central Chile.
Calceolaria salicifolia, another Peruvian in exile, in this case in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Click to see big picture (540x480 pixels; 107 KB)
A light-flowered species from the high mountains of Peru.  This appears to be Calceolaria myriophylla, based on flower color and leaf shape. Click to see big picture (399x480 pixels; 98 KB)
Again, from the mountains of Peru, an unidentified species with a darker flower than myriophylla, but similar leaf shape. Click to see big picture (640x435 pixels; 127 KB)
This form of Calceolaria, with rather strange leaves, is common in the ranges of the Aija area in central Peru.
Again from the Aija area, this rather attractive (well, in terms of Calceolarias) and elegant specimen.  Does anyone know how to classify these things?
And a final nameless Peruvian with whorled leaves. Click to see big picture (640x356 pixels; 129 KB)
Dropping south into Chile, this is very likely Calceolaria thyrsiflora, which for some reason is called Hierba Dulce (sweet herb).  There are medicinal dimensions. Click to see big picture (367x480 pixels; 70 KB)
A closer view of the flowers and unusual leaves of C. thyrsiflora.  It is largely confined to central Chile. Click to see big picture (640x408 pixels; 79 KB)
This appears to be Calceolaria biflora, found in the high Andes of south and central Chile, and hence likely over into Argentina. Click to see big picture (609x480 pixels; 167 KB)
Calceolaria tenella hangs out in the southern Cordillera of Chile and Argentina.  This group was south of Cerro Castillo in Patagonia.
A closer view of the flowers of Calceolaria tenella.
More confined to central Chile, this mint-leaved species would be Calceolaria morissi. Click to see big picture (360x480 pixels; 52 KB)
Calceolaria integrifolia is a species of the lowlands, in this case the coast near Iloca, Chile.
A semi-aquatic species of Calceolaria, from south-central Chile. Click to see big picture (585x480 pixels; 85 KB)
Calceolaria dentata, a species eiyh serrated leaves, again from south-central Chile. Click to see big picture (635x480 pixels; 87 KB)
And yet another from that zone, in this case a woody shrub with linear leaves. Click to see big picture (473x480 pixels; 75 KB)
From west of Santiago, the attractive Calceolaria corymbosa, likely either the santiagina or corymbosa subspecies. Click to see big picture (353x480 pixels; 87 KB)
A closer look at the triple-chin flowers of C. corymbosa. Click to see big picture (587x480 pixels; 72 KB)

Jumping to Argentina, this lonely Patagonian specimen is likely Calceolaria polyrrhiza (ex. lanceolata), known in those parts as Zapatito. Some spell it polyrhiza.

Click to see big picture (468x480 pixels; 107 KB)
Also from Rio Negro Province, this small, freckled species with simple leaves. C. Polyrrhiza is often speckled, but is usually shown with a more open flower. speckled
In the high mountains of La Rioja Province.  This looks a lot like C. brunellifolia approx. Click to see big picture (551x480 pixels; 111 KB)
A very colorful Zapatito, Calceolaria teucrioides, from the mountains of La Rioja Province. Click to see big picture (427x480 pixels; 68 KB)
Finally another genus. Jovellana violacea of southern Chile.  The local name is Argenita. Click to see big picture (422x480 pixels; 66 KB)