Thanks again to Ruth for today’s write-up:
Found natively from low altitudes and the interior valleys of southern Chile (the humid matorrales or transitional woodlands), Jovellana punctata is a beautiful species in the Calceolariaceae. Its genus, Jovellana, is also found in New Zealand, displaying a wide southern hemispheric distribution.
Known in Chile as argenita or capachito, Jovellana punctata is a shrubby plant. It has large simple leaves with serrate margins. There is little research done on this species, but as a student of botany I can say that the spots on the carolla tube (fused petals) are set up as a “landing pad” for pollinators. Just like airports and rooftops use an “H” for helipads, flowers use colours and spot patterns to direct traffic. The bright yellow spots invite bees and birds to have a look inside, tricking them to spread pollen to the female parts.
The family Calceolariaceae was only recently separated from the Scrophulariaceae. It contains only two genera: Jovellana and Calceolaria.