Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Patagonia day three: the steppe!

Viola maculata

Not all the violets in Patagonia are succulent: we encountered herbaceous species several times (always yellow)

Astragalus cruckshanksii 

We found several genera which also occur in North America--we have species quite like this in the West. We also found a Scutellaria which surprised me--a truly cosmopolitan genus. My picture was horrible so I won't share it.

Austrocactus bertinii

Our first Austrocactus: there were many more!

Austrocactus bertinii
The armature was formidable!

Azorella monantha
The first of many of this genus (and the most condensed!)

Azorella prolifera
And here was another species nearby in full bloom.

Calceolaria polyrhiza

The only flower open--growing with cheatgrass on dry steppe!

Calceolaria polyrhiza

Corynabutilon bicolor 

A rather showy (if muted in color) shrub

Corynabutilon bicolor 
Growing to a respectable size! Trip leader Rod Haenni with trip botanist Marcela Ferreyra on the left.

Ephedra chilensis

A perfect bonsaied ephedra. Wish mine would do this rather than taking over the world.

Geum magellanicum

I was more than a little surprised to see geum out on dry steppe--here growing with Acaena splendens.

Geum magellanicum

Our native geums generally grow in moister habitats--G. coccineum in Turkey grew in wet meadows!

Junellia cf. succulentifolia

There were Junellias everywhere, two or more species often growing together. These are doing extremely well in cultivation at Chatfield and York street DBG.

Junellia sp.

Junellia sp.

Junellia sp.

Junellia sp.

Maihuenia patagonica cream colored flowers

Our first, but NOT our last sighting of this fabulous plant!

Maihuenia patagonica pink colored flowers!

We never saw another pink one alas! How I would love to grow this!

Chocolina and Steve Brack

Chocolina developed quite a fondness for Steve. We all did--I'm following him to South Africa right now (hope to have breakfast with him tomorrow as a matter of fact!)

Gamocarpha macrocephala

Our favorite family of almost extraterrestrial beauty. No, not related to broccoli!
Gamocarpha macrocephala

Even the first year rosettes are lovely.

The landscape could be in the foothills of the US West...or the Karoo or one of the "Stans"

Honestly, I could find almost the same vista not far from Denver--only junipers rather than Austrocedrus chilensis.

Caracara and roadkill
The same year I took this a friend sited one in Colorado and posted a picture on Facebook!

Oenothera odorata

Several evening primroses look like this in the USA--not sure they are fragrant though. Actually forgot to sniff this to see if the epithet was accurate.

Oenothera odorata
That's Bariloche in the distance, and the Andes!

Naussavia glomerulosa
Forgot to sniff this one too: the genus often has a chocolate scent.

Alas, I know so little about lichens--would love to know if any of these are in the Northern hemisphere...the orange one is usually found where birds perch...and poop!

Our rural cities often have strange art as well--often with religious overtones. This inset that gradually cheers up after chatting with God was rather fetching I thought...better than Trump flags, that's for sure!

And wall art recalling the Mapuche indigenous tribes that are still alive and well: I'd read that the Patagonian people had been all killed off--not true. This village was largely indigenous people,

Pozoa coriacea

I can't help but wonder if this genus of characteristically Patagonian plants isn't related to the Boreal genus Sanicula...it seems to have a strong family resemblance.
Viola escondidiensis
Our first steppe "rosulate" is one of the strangest of the genus. We found the more typically rosulate V. columnaris here as well, but my picture didn't turn out!

Viola escondidiensis
A preposterous plant--but I like it!

As a "rock gardener" I have a strong interest in all uses of rock: this Patagonian wall struck my fancy.

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