DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Flora: APIALES AND DIPSACALES  

 

This page covers two genetically related floral orders.  In the Southern Cordillera, the Apiales largely boils down to the Carrot Family, Apiaceae or in older terms Umbelliferae,  The namesake of the Dipsacales is the Teasel Family Dipsacaceae, but it also includes something called the Adoxaceae into which the Elderberries have recently been dropped.  In addition it houses the Valerianas.

The Carrot Family is a large one, with roughly 300 genera and 3000 species world-wide.  It has several members important for food and folk medicine, and has produced some international weeds of note.  In the southern Andes, the family has adapted to the cold and dry conditions with a number of mat-forming or "cushion plants", with which we will start.

 

The typical mat-plants of the genus Azorella are called Yareta, sometimes written Llareta.  This is likely A. compacta of the Altiplano.  They grow very slowly and can be thousands of years old.  Alas they are under attack as the only source of firewood in some regions-- this one has been partly cut away.  In fact, one of the local names is Leña de Piedra (stone firewood). Click to see big picture (568x480 pixels; 110 KB)
The flowers of the Yaretas will never make it to the florists, but here at over 5000 meters altitude in southern Peru, any color is welcome. yareta
And then there is a common 'blonde' form of yareta.  Both the Pycnophyllum genus (Pink Family) and the Mniodes genus (Aster Family) can produce this sort of biological blotch.
A close-up view of what is likely Azorella compacta from the mountains of Rioja Province, Argentina.  The seeds are typical of the Carrot Family. This species is found through much of the southern Andes. Click to see big picture (610x480 pixels; 188 KB)
Not all Azorella eke out a life in the high and dry areas.  This photo of Azorella spinosa approx. is from the lowlands near Parral, Chile.  It is a species of the south-central parts of the country. Click to see big picture (374x480 pixels; 101 KB)
Large seeds for such a small plant.  Azorella lycopodioides is found in the central and southern Andes of both Chile and Argentina. Click to see big picture (536x480 pixels; 168 KB)
Azorella trifurcata normally hangs out in the southern Andes, but here is showing off at the UBC Bot. Gardens. Click to see big picture (510x480 pixels; 154 KB)
A closer view of the flowering system of Azorella trifurcata. Click to see big picture (640x343 pixels; 120 KB)
From high in the central Andes, an unidentified Azorella.
Another unidentified species of Azorella from near the international border at the head of Rio Teno. Click to see big picture (640x387 pixels; 148 KB)
From the steppes of Rio Negro Province, a mat plant with succulent leaves. succulent
It looks like a white-flowered yareta, and in fact it is called yaretilla, but this is actually a Pycnophyllum sp. from the Caryophyllaceae family. Click to see big picture (640x341 pixels; 119 KB)
And from the same Peruvian topography, a mat that looks like a coral. This might be Disticha muscoides of the Juncaceae.  If so, it is known as Champa or Alpalca moss. Click to see big picture (435x480 pixels; 120 KB)
Not all mat plants are of the Carrot Family, and not all are friendly.  Thorny wonders such as this are often refered to as the Colchon de la Suegra (The mother-in-law's mattress). spiny wonder
Foating Marsh Pennywort does not look much like it belongs in Apiaceae, and indeed its family connections are a bit controversial. Hydrocotyle ranunculoides is a success story, however, and now widespread in both temperate and tropical regions.  Photo from a ditch in central Chile.
This is Poison Hemlock, a dangerous imported weed, Conium maculatum. Click to see big picture (522x480 pixels; 127 KB)
Hemlock is a giant weed that is poisonous to both man and livestock.  Despite this it seems to have appeared in regions of temperate climate though much of the world. Click to see big picture (456x480 pixels; 103 KB)
Happily it is easily recognized by the red blotches on its stems.  Unfortunately, grazing animals are not always so well informed.
Wild Carrot, which translates as Zanahoria Silvestre (Daucus carota) is a more welcome European weed.  In English it is better known as Queen Anne's Lace. Click to see big picture (503x480 pixels; 103 KB)
As Wild Carrot goes to seed, it curls up into a distinctive pouch. Click to see big picture (456x480 pixels; 86 KB)
Two views of the head of another Eurasian weed that has spread to far parts of the world based on folk medicine-- Ammi visnaga is better known as Toothpick Weed, or as Bisnaga in central and south Chile and Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x307 pixels; 98 KB)
The huge and sinister Asian invader known as the Giant Hogweed  (Heracleum mantegazzianum) can reach a few meters in height.  It has appeared in Patagonian Argentina.  All parts are poisonous and it can cause skin irritation. Click to see big picture (336x480 pixels; 87 KB)
A far more welcome giant weed has invaded from the Mediterranean.  Known as Fennel or locally Hinojo (Foeniculum vulgare) it has both culinary and medical uses. Click to see big picture (499x480 pixels; 95 KB)
Fennel seeds are in demand as a condiment, but the leaves and the roots are also used. Click to see big picture (440x480 pixels; 79 KB)
Osmorhiza chilensis is known as Perjil de Monte and is native to the central and south Andes.  It is also listed as native to the southwestern U.S., where it is known as Sweet Cicely, but the leaves of the northern cases seems quite different- something is strange.  Further complicated by other species of Osmorhiza in Chile and Argentina. Click to see big picture (476x480 pixels; 98 KB)
Mulinum spinosum is a common bush on both sides of the Andes, sometimes becoming the dominant species in parts of the Argentine steppes. The name is Neneo. neneo
A typical Neneo bush, and the typical carrot-family seeds. Click to see big picture (640x351 pixels; 146 KB)
In Patagonia, there are other, diminutive species of Mulinum, some looking much like the Azorella mats.  In general, they are referred to as Neneo Enano. Click to see big picture (346x480 pixels; 93 KB)
From the mountains above Mendoza, this is likely Asteriscium glaucum, a bush with bluish foliage found from here north to Salta Province, although it looks a lot like one of the Bio-bios (Gymnophyton sp.) Click to see big picture (550x480 pixels; 132 KB)
Asteriscium chilense approx. may be found through most of Chile, and like similar species is called Anicillo. Click to see big picture (484x480 pixels; 55 KB)
From the Valesquez Range in northwestern Argentina, what may (or may not) be a pink species of Asteriscium.
The spiny balls of Eryngium paniculatum, closely related to Sea Holly, is common in the south and central Andes, where it has the local name Chupalla. Click to see big picture (640x409 pixels; 97 KB)
A closer look at those spiny balls of Chupalla.  Despite the spines, the insect love this plant.
A rather different plant of the high Cordillera is the Anislao (Pozoa coriacea) here at Lago Teno adjacent to the international border. Click to see big picture (640x443 pixels; 175 KB)
Pozoa volcanica is known as Anislao de los Volanes, in this case from high on Volcan Lonquimay of Chile.

The Teasel Family (Dipsacaceae) is a spiny one of modest size, perhaps 350 species world-wide.   Although in a related botanical order, its similarity to the above Eryngium is clear.

 

 
Dipsacus sativus is a widespread, imported weed.  Its local name stems from its old use in "carding" wool-- ie. combing straight.  In South America it his still referred to as Carda. Click to see big picture (640x474 pixels; 116 KB)

Dipsacus fullonum comes with a pink flower display, but I wouldn't advise it for a corsage.  A worldly weed, which has shown up in Argentina.

Click to see big picture (316x480 pixels; 60 KB)

The Adoxaceae has been known as the Moschatel Family, if indeed it has been known at all.  This obscurity has changed since it became the recipient of the Sambucus genus, the Elderberries.

 

 
Sambucus peruvianus is now S. Nigra ssp. peruviana, but this has not changed the taste of it fruit.  It is native to Peru, Bolivia and northwest Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x424 pixels; 115 KB)
And these are the flowers of Sambucus peruvianus, the Peruvian Elderberry, from the town of Chachas in the south of Peru. sauco
Sambucus nigra ssp. nigra is a European import which was widely planted and has widely escaped.  It is valued for its fruit, and especially for the wine therefrom. Click to see big picture (640x366 pixels; 123 KB)