Alto Andino Nature Tours, Chile

Wildflowers above the Atacama Desert

pre-puna shrublands 3,000-3,300 masl


A little-known phenomenon here at 18 deg S latitude is the burst of wildflowers that follows the Bolivian winter, which is actually the austral summer.  Confused?  Yes, although this is the southern hemisphere we have the rainy winter in February, then comes our spring (or is it fall?) in March, April and May with wonderful wildflowers popping up all over.  Photos taken in March and April after the rainy season just east of the Atacama Desert.  Putre is nestled at the base of cerro Taapaaca (5,430 m), in the background of the photo to the right.

Some of the genera here (which is the beginning of the range of highest diversity on the western slope): Tarasa, Philibertia, Tetraglochin, Krameria, Acantholippia, Cryptantha, Solanum, Portulaca, Junellia, Balbisia, Oreocereus, Spergularia, Atriplex, Tunilla, Neowerdermannia, Corryocactus, Cardionema, Calandrinia, Cistanthe, Balbisia, Dalea, Oxalis, Fabiana, Adesmia, Ephedra, Mirabilis, Senecio, Pellaea, Mastigostyla.

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