DixPix Photographs



  Flora:  Miscellaneous Herbs and Shrubs  


This page collects photos from several families of herbs and shrubs which have not found a place in other groupings for flora of the Southern Cordillera.


ARISTOLOCHIACEAE  is known in English as the Birthwort or Dutchman's Pipe family,   In the Southern Cordillera, it is represented by the unusual vine known as Oreja Zorro (fox ears), Aristolochia chilensis, native to north-central Chile.  It traps insects, but does not appear to consume them. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 154 KB)
The CALYCERACEAE is a small family, mainly South American, but mainly tropical.  This is one of the exceptions from Patagonian Argentina, one of the three varieties of Boopis anthemoides that inhabit much of that country, and locally referred to as Bopis. Click to see big picture (640x422 pixels; 141 KB)
From a thorny flower to a serious burr, this appears to be Calycera calcitrapa from northwestern Argentina.
Sedum acre represents the Crassulaceae in Patagonia.  It was introduced from Europe, where it went by names such as Moss Stonecrop, and has naturalized.  Here it is spreading over the rocky shore of Lago General Carerra, and is known as Pampajarito.

Known as the Bellflower or Harebell Family, CAMPANULACEAE has some 2000 species.  In its original configuration, it was largely a Northern Hemisphere grouping, but now that it has swallowed the Lobelia Family (LOBELIACEAE), about 1200 species strong, it is wider spread, although mainly tropical.


From the original Campanulaceae, Wahlenbergia linarioides, which may be found over much of Argentina, in central and southern Chile, and indeed from Ecuador south.  The local name is Uña-perquen. Click to see big picture (481x480 pixels; 60 KB)
The Lobelia genus has some colorful shrubs, especially in Chile.  These tend to go by the name of Tupa, or more colorfully Tabaco del Diablo (Devil's Tobacco).  This is Lobelia excelsa from central Chile. Click to see big picture (614x480 pixels; 127 KB)
Tupa plants tend to be large, and can reach over two meters height.  Here is a fuller view.
A closer view of the flower of Lobelia excelsa. Click to see big picture (548x480 pixels; 59 KB)
Lobelia polyphylla tends to hang out in north-central Chile. Click to see big picture (351x480 pixels; 72 KB)
The flowers of Lobelia polyphylla are darker and more curled than the others of its genus. Click to see big picture (478x480 pixels; 93 KB)
Tending to prefer more the central to southern parts of Chile, Lobelia tupa is a large, many-flowered plant. Click to see big picture (476x480 pixels; 127 KB)
A closer look at the flowers of Lobelia tupa. Click to see big picture (640x361 pixels; 86 KB)
Lobelia bridgesii, according to the botanical gardens of San Francisco.  This is a pinkish-flowered species with sharp-tipped leaves, native to the south of Chile. Click to see big picture (524x480 pixels; 98 KB)
Yes, they now classify this as a lobelia, although called Pratia repens and a dozen other names before.  Lobelia oligophylla is a mini-plant found in wet places in the mountains from Ecuador to Patagonia.  This one was caught napping by a river on the Argentine steppes.
COMMELINACEAE or Spiderwort Family is a group of monocotyledons which disdain the southern Cordillera.  This, however, is likely the common Dayflower, Commelina erecta, a worldly weed which has six varieties or sub-species on or adjacent to the eastern fringe of the Cordillera, from northwestern Argentina northward. Click to see big picture (640x384 pixels; 78 KB)
DESFONAINIACEAE,  also known as COLUMELLIACEAE  is a taxonomic mess, but basically boils down to Desfonainia fulgens (alias D. spinosa), a holly-leaved shrub from southern Chile and Argentina, known as Taique.  These are from timberline on Volcan Osorno in the Chilean Lake District. Click to see big picture (639x480 pixels; 133 KB)
PASSIFLORACEAE, the passion flower family, has this lovely vine, Passiflora trifoliata, which adorns the highlands of central and southern Peru.
Passiflora caerulea is native to Chile. Argentina and Bolivia, but is now pantropical, spread as an attractive garden flower vine.  In fact this one finds itself in Bogota.  The fruit is edible, and it is one of the passion fruits locally called Guarani.

POLYGALACEAE is a family that can boast about a thousand species, but half of these are in an easily overlooked genus Polygala.  In the southern Cordillera it is also represented by a lupine-like group of the genus Monnina.  It used to be called Pteromonnia.


Likely Monnina (or Pteromonnina) pterocarpa (or philippiana) of the Andes of western Peru..  The local name for the genus in this area is Agua-rica, for some unknown reason. Click to see big picture (291x480 pixels; 52 KB)
From the Sierra Famatima of La Rioja Province, Argentina.  This appears to be Monnina wrightii, which also crops up in Mexico and the U.S.A. Click to see big picture (346x480 pixels; 48 KB)
High in the Cordillera Negra of central Peru, a Monnina which is going to seed and producing sizeable fruit.  Very likely Monnina crassifolia. monnina
And from the high country of Peru, quite likely Monnina crassifolia again, also found in neighboring Bolivia and Ecuador. Click to see big picture (321x480 pixels; 44 KB)
From the Plumbago Family, Plumbaginaceae, this is Armeria maritima, in its coastal version.  Despite the maritime name, it also occurs through much of central and southern Chile and Argentina.  It is known simply as Armeria. armeria
The Hydrangea Family, HYDRANGEACEAE is mainly native to the northern hemisphere and well known in gardening circles.  Its one species in the Southern Cordillera is Hydrangea serratifolia, a scrambling bush or thick vine which would likely be called a liana in tropical settings. Click to see big picture (551x480 pixels; 95 KB)
The flowers of Hydrangea serratifolia are quite striking, and its local name is Canelilla.  It is mainly native to central and southern Chile. Click to see big picture (535x480 pixels; 98 KB)

Who has not marveled at the giant leaves of the GUNNERACEAE Family.  There are about 50 species in the genus Gunnera, but most are tropical.  One exception is G. tinctoria, common in wetter sectors of central to south Chile and Argentina.  There are other species in the area, but this is the most common, and the one exported to gardens in temperate zones.


In its native range, gunneras go by names such as Nalca or Pangue. Click to see big picture (476x480 pixels; 120 KB)
In English the genus has some colorful names such as Poor Man's Parasol, and Chilean Rhubarb.  In fact, some people do chew on the peeled stems, but they are loaded with oxalic acid. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 131 KB)
The spectactular floral spike contains both male and female flowers.  The seeds are mostly bird distributed. Click to see big picture (332x480 pixels; 94 KB)
Surprisingly there is also a dwarf form in the same native range.  This is Gunnera magellanica, known locally as Pangue Enano or by the less pronounceable Palacoazir. Click to see big picture (640x433 pixels; 124 KB)
And here, in the valley of Rio Exploradores of patagonian Chile, Pange Enano shows its berries.  The fruit is known as Frutilla de Diablo (Devil's Strawberry).  Although found mainly in Patagonia, it also occurs in the high Andes of Peru and Ecuador.
The Gaint Arrowhead (Sagittaria montevidensis) is an aquatic plant of the Alismataceae or Water Plantain family.  It occurs from North America down to northern Patagonia, and in the south is known as Saeta. saeta
Alisma lanceolatum is a water weed imported from Europe, where it is known as a Water Plantain.  Here in central Chile it goes by names such as Llanten de Agua and Hualtata.
Potamogeton illinoensis of the Potomogetonaceae family is a pondweed found in many of the temperate parts of earth, including here in Chilean Patagonia.
Ferns are known as Helechos in Latin America, and although there are few which have drawn the camera's attention, some are sufficently unusual to be of interest to those of us who are not fern fanatics.  
This rather unusual form of fern is Adiantum chilense, known as Culantrillo in its range of central to southern Chile/Argentina.  It is also called Helecho Palito Negro due to that then black stem. The family is Pteridaceae, but some authorities give the genus its own family or even a third one. adiantum
From the fjord zone of Chile, this raggedly distinctive fern is Blechnum chilense, locally called Quilquil.  It has travelled in garden circles.  Some give this genus its own family, Blechnaceae.
Another of the genus called Quilquil is the drooping fern Blechnum arcuatum.  Here we find it adorning a waterfall in the Rio Exploradores valley, Chilean Patagonia.  It may be found in very wet areas of southern Chile and adjacent Argentina.
And in the same valley, this appears to be Blechnum penna-marina.  It is a chubby fern found mainly in southern South America.  Being a hardy species, it has gained the name of Antarctic Hard Fern, while here in Chile they call it Pinque.
Lophosoria quadripinnata is really a multi-branch tree fern of the Dicksoniaceae family, although some would give it its own family.  It is the only one of its genus, but may be found from Cuba down to here in southern Chile.  The local name is Ampe, but such large ferns also get called Palmita in confusion with palms. ampe fern
Hymenophyllum peltatum is a species that has been reported from scattered parts of the world, and may well be a species complex in the Hymenophyllaceae family.  This one is from Patagonia.
Polystichum plicatum is native to the mountains of Patagonia, here growing on the rocky shores of Lago General Carerra.  The local name is Pillomen-lahuen.
Polystichum plicatum again, showing the substantial rhizome.  Should one really care, we are now in the Dryopteridaceae family.
An unidentified fern of unusual appearance from Rio Exploradores valley, patagonian Chile.