DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Flora:  OF LILIES AND ONIONS  

 

This page more or less covers the Order Liliales, which is one of the more messed up in the maze of floral nomenclature, with different authorities assigning Genera to different Families, and some Families to different Orders.  Here we will look at a few of the Liliaceae, Amaryllidaceae and Alliaceae.  The latter, the onion family, is placed by some in the Order Asparagales along with the irises.  The Alstoemeria Family does belong in Liliales, but there are enough of them in the photo collection to deserve their own page.

Enough latin.  These beautiful flowers are well represented in the Southern Cordillera, especially in the more open spaces of the high mountains and the semi-arid terrains.  Enjoy.

 

The Rhodophiala genus provides some of the most striking flowers, and there are many species. In general their popular name is "Añañuca".  This one in the Andes of central Chile is likely R. andina, sometimes known as Phycella herbertiana, which also graces the Andes of Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x398 pixels; 74 KB)
A drooping flower from 3000 meters altitude in the Yauyos Range of western Peru. ananuca
Typically the flowers rise from a scape or leafless stalk.  This example from the headwater of the Teno River in Chile is Rhodophiala rhodolirion, referred to as the Añañuca de Cordillera. Click to see big picture (464x480 pixels; 98 KB)
This is likely the mountain lily Rhodophiala montana, although usually with more than one flowers.  From the head of the Maule River in the Chilean Andes.
Rhodophiala montana also has attractive 3-sided pods, which convert to unusual black seed sacks.
The 'Revienta Ojos' (Rhodophiala phycelloides), found at lower altitudes to north of Santiago.   Click to see big picture (472x480 pixels; 112 KB)
Of similar appearance, but different genus, the Añañuca de Fuego (Phycella ignea) near the port of Los Vilos, Chile.  The scientific name is not universally recognized. Click to see big picture (301x480 pixels; 68 KB)
And this one is sometimes called 'Azucena del Diablo'.  It is also known as Phycella bicolor, which makes sense in view of its two colors, but in formal company is more properly addressed as Phycella cyrtanthoides. Click to see big picture (640x463 pixels; 86 KB)
This spectacular lily can be seen in and around rural gardens in central Chile, where it goes by the non-specific name of 'Lirio del Campo'.  There are pink Rhodophialas, but this seems to be the Belladonna Lily (Amaryllis belladonna), a widely popular import from South Africa. Click to see big picture (640x464 pixels; 87 KB)
One of the more beautiful flowers of Chile's 'Norte Chico' is the Macaya (Placea amoena). Click to see big picture (640x474 pixels; 115 KB)
A close look at the Macaya flower from near Combarbala.  This species is of limited range, and threatened by goat herding. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 88 KB)
Of the same genus and also from central Chile, Placea arzae.  For some reason this is called the 'Patita de Araña' (little spider's foot).  The scientific name is in question. Click to see big picture (565x480 pixels; 125 KB)
 Tristagma uniflorum of the Alliaceae (onion) Family, for those who believe that family still exists. The name Ipheion uniflorum is also encountered.   A citizen of Argentina, this spry little flower has for some reason become popular in garden circles under the name Springstar Click to see big picture (595x480 pixels; 103 KB)
From Patagonian Argentina, Tristagma patagonicum.  This is locally called Estrellita (little star), but that name is applied to a number of flowers. Click to see big picture (369x480 pixels; 110 KB)
The small Flor de la Virgen, with thick leaves, pushes up around a rock near Talca, Chile.  This used to be in the Brodiaea genus, but now is Tristagma porrifolia, also known as T. bivalve. Click to see big picture (640x452 pixels; 78 KB)
Switching now to the Leucocoryne genus, which is especially common in the regions between Santiago and the Atacama desert.  The general name is Huilli or Huille.  This is Huilli Pijama (Leucocoryne vittata). Click to see big picture (640x363 pixels; 101 KB)
Leucocoryne purpurea is known as Cebollin Purpurea tends to be found near the coast.  The term 'cebollin' is an alternative to 'huilli' and a reminder that we are still dealing with the onion family, Alliaceae.  Click to see big picture (485x480 pixels; 104 KB)
Huilli Morado (Leucocoryne violacescens) is apparently rarer, and tends to occur around Santiago. Click to see big picture (579x480 pixels; 80 KB)
And then there is the Huilli de Coquimbo.  This seems so variable that I suspect it is being used as a catch-all.  Whether this is truly Leucocoryne coquimbensis is open to question, but it was found close to Coquimbo. Click to see big picture (534x480 pixels; 65 KB)
Likely several species go by the name Huilli Blanco, the classic one being Leucocoryne ixioides. Click to see big picture (465x480 pixels; 120 KB)
Nothoscordum gracile var. gracile with a pink stripe per petal from alpine La Rioja Province of Argentina.  Click to see big picture (367x480 pixels; 49 KB)
From near Curico, Chile, likely Nothoscordum gramineum. This is locally known as Huille de Perro. Click to see big picture (358x480 pixels; 50 KB)
Lagrimas de la Virgen (Oziroe arida).  This is a monotypic genus, and its family relationship seems to be undefined.  Despite the "arida", this plant is found to the south of Santiago, rather than the arid north. Click to see big picture (490x480 pixels; 74 KB)
And finally a beautiful stemless lily, among the rock debris well above other vegetation in the mountains of Salta Province, Argentina.

 


 
The Philesiaceae is a small and uncertain family, and some authorities would place its contents in the Smilacaceae.  All agree, however, that it is in the Liliales Order.  What makes it important, is that it contains Chile's national flower, the Copihue.

 

 
Lapageria rosea, the Copihue, was a good choice for a national flower.  It is striking, endemic and unusual.  The plant is a vine and the flowers waxen and heavy.  The fruit is a sweet, edible berry. The species has been pressed into service in gardens, as might be expected. copihue
In southern Chile there is a tradition of making this sort of bouquet or wreath from the long-lasting Copihue flowers.  They are often sold beside highways, etc.
From the same family as the Copihue, Philesia magellanica is known as Coicopihue.  It is endemic to southern Chile, in this case found at Caleta Tortel.
A closer view of Coicopihue's striking flower.  This is a vine which might be considered for gardens in temperate climates.