DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Flora: FIGWORT FAMILY AND OFFSPRING  

 

Alas!-- the nobel family of the Figworts has been torn asunder and its genera scattered.  Their downfall was a diversity in their DNA, and the orphaned genera have wound up in some unusual families.  There are only a few species from the original Scrophulariaceae left in the Southern Cordillera, and these tend to be weeds, aliens or both.

 

Native to both Chile and Peru, Ajicillo (Alonsoa meridionalis) remains in the Figworts-- perhaps they haven't checked its DNA yet.  The local name suggests some connection to Aji, a hot chili-pepper.  This from central Chile. Click to see big picture (373x480 pixels; 89 KB)
A close up of the Alonsoa meridionalis approx. flower from west-central Peru.  In gardening it is referred to as the Mask Flower. Click to see big picture (542x480 pixels; 82 KB)
Myoporum laetum is native to New Zealand, but has been widely planted and has widely proved invasive.  Here on the beach at Illico, Chile. Names include Mousehole Tree and Ngaio. freckle flower
The Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is an invasive weed of open spaces in temperate climates globally.  Native to Eurasia, it was likely imported due to popular folk-medicine applications.  The local name is Hierba del Pano. Click to see big picture (231x480 pixels; 45 KB)
Verbascum thapsus is widely given to taking weird  or "monstroso" forms.  This is from Patagonian Argentina. Click to see big picture (374x480 pixels; 61 KB)
Another Eurasian weed is the Twiggy Mullein (Verbascum virgatum), which is now widespread in the more hospitable parts of the Southern Cordillera.  It is quite variable as this pair of photos shows. Click to see big picture (530x480 pixels; 95 KB)
At its best, Verbascum virgatum can produce handsome flowers.  Locally it is called Mitrun. Click to see big picture (305x480 pixels; 43 KB)

BUDDLEJACEAE Family no longer exists.  It has been demoted to the genus Buddleja, and sent to shore up the ranks of the Figwort Family which has been bleeding genera.  Not all taxonomists have signed on to this move.

 

 
Buddleja globosa is found in Peru, Chile and southern Argentina.  It is widely known as Matico.  The far photo shows an example with seeds from Argentine Patagonia, where it is better known as Pañil. matico
A closer view of the spherical flower.  A plant as handsome as this was bound to attract the attention of gardeners, and indeed it is planted widely in temperate zones under the name of 'Orange Ball Tree". matico flower
Buddleja longifolia is found in Bolivia and Peru, this photo being from the former.  It is locally called Quishuar, and was sacred to the Incas. qolle

OROBANCHACEAE  has been known as the Broomrape Family, but should now likely be called the Paintbrush Family after inheriting that major floral complex from the Figworts.  Most members are root-parasites.

 

 
The Orobanchaceae are not well represented in the Southern Cordillera, but Bellardia (Bellardia trixago), a Mediterranean native, has taken hold in some parts of Chile, in this case to west of Talca. Click to see big picture (265x480 pixels; 60 KB)
Bellardia is a root parasite, which means that its roots tie into those of other plants for part of its nourishments.  This closer look at the flower shows why it was assumed to be a Figwort until someone checked its DNA. Click to see big picture (440x480 pixels; 70 KB)
Euphrasia antarctica is found mainly in Patagonia, in this case near the Chilean town of Tortel.  The local name is Choco-choco.

PHRYMACEAE  This was originally a small group known as the Lopseed Family, but now has received the large and widespread Mimulus genera from the Figworts.  There are several Mimulus species in Chile, but there is a rumor that the genus is "unstable" and further changes are in the wind.  In English, the name 'Monkey Flower' is often used.

 

 
Any yellow mimulus tends to be called Berro Amarillo.  Judging by size and leaf shape, this is likely Mimulus glabratus, a variable species of the wet alpine habits. Click to see big picture (495x480 pixels; 51 KB)
The striking and relatively widespread Mimulus luteus.  In this variation it is referred to in English as Blood Drop Mimulus (or Monkey Flower) for obvious reasons. Click to see big picture (640x461 pixels; 73 KB)
A look at the Mimulus luteus plant.  Locally the term Placa tends to be used.  M. depressa can look very similar. Click to see big picture (578x480 pixels; 118 KB)
Of more restricted range is Mimulus luteus ssp. variegatus, here blooming near the Argentine border in central Chile. Click to see big picture (357x480 pixels; 74 KB)
From the Melado Valley of central Chile, comes an almost pure white Mimulus.  No guesses on the taxonomy. Click to see big picture (640x352 pixels; 107 KB)
Perhaps the most striking of the Chilean species is the Flor de Cobre (copper flower), Mimulus cupreus of southern Chile and Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x469 pixels; 96 KB)
But the most beautiful and variable of the species is the Berro Rosado (Mimulus naiandinus), addicted to very wet areas. Click to see big picture (540x480 pixels; 81 KB)
A closer look at a typical Berro Rosado flower.  In gardening it is sometimes called the Andean Nymph. Click to see big picture (446x480 pixels; 71 KB)
Despite restricted range and habitat, Berro Rosado is unusually variable.  Here a a couple more patterns. Click to see big picture (640x303 pixels; 58 KB)
And another form of Berro Rosado.  Although Mimulus naiandinus has only been relatively recently defined, this wide variation in flowers and leaf shapes suggests that the taxonomy "splitters" may have something to chew on. Click to see big picture (395x480 pixels; 60 KB)

PLANTAGINACEAE  Prior to becoming a dumping ground for genera from the disintegration of the Figworts, this Plantain Family was best known for a couple of dull and invasive weeds of the genus Plantago, which had spread from their native Europe to most temperate parts of the world.  They are widespread, if seldom noticed, in the southern Cordillera.

 

 
The Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major) is a pest of lawns and gardens. Click to see big picture (352x480 pixels; 100 KB)
While the Narrowleaf Plantain or Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata) has widely invaded open spaces.  There are several Plantago species native to the southern Cordillera, but like their European cousins, they are not very photogenic. Click to see big picture (640x470 pixels; 130 KB)
It is difficult to see the family resemblance between the Plantagos and Koromico (Hebe salicifolia).  This bush is native and found wild in southern Chile, but is much more widely planted in gardens. Click to see big picture (640x406 pixels; 98 KB)
Hebe elliptica is also a citizen of southern Chile.  The same four-petal flowers but elliptical leaves. hebe
There are several Veronicas or Speedwells in the southern Cordillera.  Some are native and some imported.  The leaves of this one from near Santiago suggest Veronica persica from Eurasia. Click to see big picture (448x480 pixels; 81 KB)
A more recognizable species is the Water Speedwell or Chanchlagua (Veronica anagallis-aquatica).  Another Eurasian, it may be found in swamps in many parts of the world. Click to see big picture (640x424 pixels; 81 KB)
The European Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) was the source of the heart remedy digitalis.  It has spread widely as a weed, but such a beautiful one that it has often been welcomed without realizing its invasive ways.  In the southern Cordillera it tends to be called Dedalera or Cartucha. foxglove
The fruit of Monttea chilensis gives it the popular name of Uvillo, derived from the Spanish for grape.  It is found in north and central Chile. Click to see big picture (439x480 pixels; 70 KB)
Unidentified from northwestern Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x464 pixels; 107 KB)
Flor de la Cascada (waterfall flower) Ourisia ruelloides of southern Chile.  As the name would suggest, it is found associated with running water. Click to see big picture (640x434 pixels; 113 KB)