Yerba Loca Nature Preserve Plants

(Natural Sanctuary of Yerba Loca - Santuario de La Naturaleza Yerba Loca)

28 December 2004

Page updated 6 January 2008

The nature preserve is located in a alpine glacially carved valley in the Central Andes immediately east of Santiago, just 25 km east on Camino a Farellones.   The highest peak, at the upper end of the valley, is El Altar at 5,222 meters above mean sea level (msl).   The stream (Yerba Loca) that flows through alpine valley originates at 3,900 m, below another peak, La Paloma.
Yerba Loca Nature Santuary ranges in elevation from 900 to 5,500 m msl.
The vegetation at Yerba Loca is an alpine scrub, dominated by chaparral-like low shrubs and a rich assemblage of perennial herbs.   The santuary is named after an herb common in the area.

All photographs copyrighted by David L. Magney 2004.

Links to other Yerba Loca Santuary Photos
Yerba Loca Photos 1
Yerba Loca Photos 3
Yerba Loca Photos 4
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Photographs of some Yerba Loca Nature Santuary Plants

A species of Solanum, a nightshade - Solanaceae (Nightshade or Tomato family), similar to Solanum xanti of the California chaparral.

A spurge of some sort - Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)

Chuquiraga oppositifolia, [Oppositeleaf] Chuquiraga - Asteraceae (Sunflower family); a spiny, low-growing shrub

The white and reddish flower vining through the Chuquiraga in the photo above and right (ID unknown) comes in differenct colors, including yellow.   The stamens, or hairs on them, provide a sharp and long-lasting sting similar to stinging nettles.

A small composite - Asteraceae (Sunflower family) and a red Taratula Spider, which are common in Yerba Loca

This plant looks like a cross between a Dodenea and an Atriplex

Ephedra sp., Mormon-tea - Ephedraceae (Mormon-tea family)

A shrubby legume - Fabaceae (Pea family)

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