DixPix Photographs





This page collects a number of tree species from botanical families which do not have a large footprint in the Southern Cordillera, or which have not attracted much photographic attention.


AQUIFOLIACEAE is the Holly Family, which boasts some 600 species, but only one genus.  None of these are native to the Cordillera, but this tree, Ilex paraguariensis from more tropical areas east of the mountains, deserves special mention as the source of Yerba Mate, the staple drink for much of Argentina and widely taken throughout the Southern Cordillera. Click to see big picture (571x480 pixels; 103 KB)
CELASTRACEAE is known as the Staff Vine or Bittersweet Family, with some 1300 species on the world stage.  Most of these are tropical.  The Maiten tree (Maytenus boaria) may be found through much of Chile and into Argentina.  It can produce three kinds of flowers, male, female and hermaphroditic. Click to see big picture (601x480 pixels; 105 KB)
Oak are not native to the southern Cordillera, but the English Oak, Quecus robur, has been widely planted and established itself.  The Spanish word for oak is Roble, but it is a term applied more widely. acorns

FAGACEAE tends to be called the Beech Family, although more famous for its oak and chestnut trees.  As it now stands, it is not native to the southern Cordillera, but until recently it contained the Southern Beeches, which are the mainstay of the Patagonian forests.  These are now in their own family, the NOTHOFAGACEAE..


Although not native and with little tendency to naturalize, the European Chestnut Tree (Castanea sativa) has been so widely planted that it seems worth including as a standard bearer for the Fagaceae. Click to see big picture (364x480 pixels; 82 KB)
Forests dominated by the Southern Beech (Nothofagaceae family) species cover much of Patagonian Chile and some of Argentina as well.  Many, however, were permanently destroyed by the land-clearing fires of the 1940's. Click to see big picture (640x425 pixels; 122 KB)
Some trees of the Nothofagus genus grow to impressive size, and have been (and still are) the target of logging.  This is the only genus in the family, and there are about 10 species recognized. Click to see big picture (294x480 pixels; 77 KB)
Despite their importance, there is little to attract the attention of photographers to Southern Beech.  Leaves tend to be shiny and small. Click to see big picture (554x480 pixels; 110 KB)
And both the flowers and fruit tend to be retiring.  This is Nothofagus antarctica, known as Ñire or Ñirre, at the botanical gardens at UBC. Click to see big picture (640x293 pixels; 84 KB)
Nothofagus dombeyi, is a lowland citizen of the south of both Chile and Argentina.  It is one of the species known as Coigue.
Judging from leaf shape, this is likely Roble Pellin (Nothofagus obliqua) which mainly occurs in south and central Chile. Click to see big picture (547x480 pixels; 95 KB)
The Cyttaria Galls on some of the southern beeches are more likely to catch your eye than the flowers.  Very strangely, a yeast in these galls has recently been identified as Saccharomyces eubayanus, whose hybrid makes the difference between ales and the more modern lager beers. Click to see big picture (617x480 pixels; 79 KB)
MORACEAE  is the Fig Family, and although figs are grown as a crop in the Southern Cordillera, none of the 1000 or so species is native.  The Mulberry (Morus alba), however, has been introduced into northwestern Argentina and eastern fringes of the cordillera, and it may be found to 1600 m. altitude. Click to see big picture (640x343 pixels; 92 KB)

SALICACEAE is the Willow Family, which under its original form had only one species native to the Southern Cordillera.  The FLACOURTIACEAE family, however, have now been folded into the Willows, which has added the Azara genus, of some importance to the region.


Salix humboldtiana (previously S. chilensis) is a striking tree found through much of the Southern Cordillera, especially in the semi-arid regions.  It is called Sauce.  These are its catkins. Click to see big picture (640x402 pixels; 117 KB)
The bark of the older Sauce trees becomes deeply fissured and picturesque. Click to see big picture (602x480 pixels; 153 KB)
Tall and spindly, the Black or Lombardy Poplar (Populus Nigra) is a very widely planted European import.  Known in Spanish as Alamo, it is used to screen fields and houses from wind, and in the dry lands it marks a residence at great distances. alamo
White Popular (Populus alba) is also planted on the steppes and pampas of Argentina, where it goes by the name of Alamo Plateado.  Both the bark and the undersides of the leaves are white. alamo plateado
From the Araliaceae Family comes a tree known as Traumen or as the Sauco del Diablo (devil's elderberry).  Pseudopanax (or Raukaua) laetevirens may be found in central and southern Chile, and adjacent parts of Argentina.
There are several species of the genus Azara in the Southern Cordillera, and most have quite similar flowers  The general name is Corcolen.  This is Azara dentata according to the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  It would be at home in central to southern Chile. Click to see big picture (609x480 pixels; 97 KB)
And this would appear to be Azara lanceolata, judging by the leaves.  This is from the Chilean Lake district, but the species ranges over south and central Chile and Argentina. Click to see big picture (593x480 pixels; 131 KB)
Another Corcolen from the south of Chile, apparently A. dentata with developing flowers. Click to see big picture (640x422 pixels; 81 KB)
Azara serrata, according to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, native to south and central Chile. Click to see big picture (592x480 pixels; 115 KB)
The fruit of Azara integrifolia from near Pucon in the Chilean Lake District.  This species of Corcolen has a more restricted range in southern Chile.
TAMARICACEAE or Tamarisk family sports about 120 species in the drier areas of Eurasia and Africa.  Their deep roots and high salt tolerance make them highly adaptive to arid regions.  Tamarix ramosissima has been introduced into western Argentina, an ill-advised move. Click to see big picture (463x480 pixels; 106 KB)
The introduction of Tamarisk species into the drylands of North America has been an ecological disaster, as they have spread aggressively, bleeding aquifers of much-needed water. It remains to be seen if the same will occur in Argentina. Click to see big picture (346x480 pixels; 96 KB)

WINTERACEAE  is another fairly small family with species mainly distributed in temperate areas of the southern hemisphere.  Despite this, there are few representatives in the Southern Cordillera.


Drimys andina is a small tree known as Canelo Andina or Canelo Enano.  It is native to southern Chile, often found at altitude. Click to see big picture (640x451 pixels; 122 KB)
A closer look at the Canelo Andino flower at a later stage in development. Click to see big picture (615x480 pixels; 88 KB)
Canelo itself is a tree native to central and south Chile and Argentina.  The latin name is Drimys winterii, and locally it is also called Boique. Click to see big picture (589x480 pixels; 76 KB)
Canelo is an extremely variable species, here showing an under-leaf near Lago Ranco, Chile. Click to see big picture (402x480 pixels; 86 KB)
It has also obtained some popularity on the world scene, here displayed at the botanical gardens at Univ. of Berkeley.  Its usual English name is Winter's Bark. Click to see big picture (563x480 pixels; 109 KB)
The Oleaster Family, Elaeagnaceae, has loaned Elaeagnus angustifolia from Eurasia to many parts of the world. It is popular for its edible fruit and handsome appearance, but has proved invasive.  Of many names, in English Silverberry and Russian Olive are popular, but Olivo de Bohemia is more common in South America. oleaster
From the patagonian steppes of Argentina, Menodora robusta of the Olive Family, Oleaceae.  Known locally as Jasmin del Campo, this straggly bush has flowers with either five or six petals. Menodora
The central valley of Chile is one of the major grape growing centers of the planet.  Do any of these naturalize and step out?  It is rare, but here near the town of Teno, Vitis vinifera shows what it can do when it is free as a liana climbing through trees.
Ribes cucullatum is a wild currant found in the center and south of Chile.  The family is Grossulariaceae, and the local name is Zarzaparilla Cordillerana.  Edible when ripe, but a tad sour. 024c_ribes_cucu
Finally Chile's only native palm, Jubaea chilensis, the Palma Chilena or Palma de Coquitos.  It is now rare in the wild due to its mindless destruction to collect sap for a syrup and wine, in fact it is sometimes called the the Chilean Wine Palm.  It is now more commonly found in plazas.  The seeds produce a high quaility oil. Chilean palm
And here is the fruit of the Palma Chilena.  The content of the nut inside tastes a bit like coconut. palm fruit