Argentina’s varied climate and terrain creates the ideal environment for a variety of species of flowers, trees, and grasses. Argentina is home to over 10% of the global flora varieties.
Native Plants Of Argentina
Darwin’s Barberry (Berberis darwinii)
The Darwin’s Barberry is native to Argentina and Chile. It is named after Charles Darwin, who discovered the plant in 1835 in Chile. The plant is a thorny evergreen shrub, rising to 5 meters. Darwin’s Barberry is densely branched, and it has small oval green leaves with a spiny margin. The plant’s berries are dark purple and are popular with birds while the flowers are bright orange to attract insects. The plant has a wide habitat range including shrub land, roadsides, and in forests. The plant thrives from moderate to cold temperatures and from dry to damp conditions in a variety of soils. The plant is under no identified threats in Argentina.
Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis)
The Yerba Mate is an evergreen shrub commonly cultivated in Argentina. The tree has either white or light purple stems, and its leaves are thick and waxy, with either dented or smooth edges. The tree produces white flowers with black, red or yellow berries. In the wild, the tree is sighted between 1,500-2,000 feet above sea level, in proximity to streams and rivers. The plant’s leaves are popularly used to make a beverage called mate. The plant is listed as near threatened due to over-harvesting in the wild.
Darwin’s Slipper (Calceolaria uniflora)
Darwin’s Slipper is a perennial plant native to Argentina. The plant thrives in cold mountain climate and well-drained areas. Its habitats include steppe, riverine and coastal rocks and sands and clifftops. The plant’s leaves are tongue-shaped, and its stems are about 4-5 inch tall suspending 2-inch tall pouch-like blooms. The flowers are yellow, brownish-red and white and the plant’s white appendage attract birds who serve as pollinators. The plant is under no significant threat in Argentina.
Santa Cruz Water Lily (Victoria cruziana)
The Santa Cruz Water Lily flowering plant is another of Argentina’s indigenous plants. The giant aquatic plant is common in slow-moving waters in northern Argentina. The leaves have a waxy surface to repel water while the underside is characterized by a network of veins and sharp thorns to protect against predators. The plant blooms on two nights, with the flowers in the first night being white while those of the second night are pink. The flowers are scented to attract beetles (Cylocephata castaneal) which pollinate the plant. The Santa Cruz Water Lily thrives in shallow moving waters and could be threatened by flooding associated with climate change.
Other Native Plants of Argentina
Argentina’s indigenous plants also include Romero del Piche (Chiliophyllum densifolium), Tabaquillo (Polylepis australis), Red Vein Abutilon (Abutilon pictum), Autumn Zephyr Lily (Zephranthes candida), Algarrobillo Espinoso (Prosopis abbreviata) and South Argentine Aster (Burkatia lanigera). Floral species in Argentina are continuously threatened by agricultural expansion, deforestation and pollution.