Nassauvia lagascae

Thank you to Douglas Justice for today’s write-up.

Another wonderful photograph by Alan Tracey from his recent peregrinations in the southern Andes. Nassauvia Comm. ex Juss. is a southern south American endemic genus of about 50 shrubs and herbs, allied to the genus Mutisia (the climbing daisies). Local peoples refer to plants of the genus as repollito, meaning little cabbage sprout. The individual species of Nassauvia are differentiated in part by, and notable for, the degree of reduction displayed by flowers, inflorescences, leaves and stems. In the genus, the higher the elevation and more extreme the conditions, the more reduced (compact) are the plants. This is a general rule in alpines; however, as you can see from the image here, these are not typical looking “compact” alpine plants. The vocabulary describing this reduction series is somewhat arcane, but for the adventurous, this link opens to the abstract of “

Nassauvia lagascae
Nassauvia lagascae
Nassauvia lagascae

16 responses to “Nassauvia lagascae”

  1. Bonnie

    Wow, nosegays growing out of rocks!

  2. Karen Newbern

    What a lovely plant! Just wondering how small it is?

  3. Adam Fikso

    Does anybody know the cold tolerance of this genus? This plant?

  4. Tracey

    Oh,the joy of living color amongst the rocks! I’ve worn out many pairs of boots dancing on mt. tops and it always good for the heart when the vibrant splash of alpine flowers catch and dazzle your eyes! This picture has done the same for me while spring and winter still battle for dominance outside my window.

  5. tessa

    This lovely little plant amongst the rocks reminds me of my journeys on the high altiplano in Peru, where very little grew. Every so often we would pass a round green boulder amid the barren rocks. Intrigued I persuaded the driver to stop the jeep. These boulders were totally encrusted by hard densely packed little green plants, perhaps 5-8mm thick. I could not guess their genus. Does anyone have a picture?

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    mr justice thank you
    i enjoy the stories of discovery
    bougainville i live in florida
    with this name covering walls and patios
    this is a hopeful plant sitting
    in the rocks hanging in there

  7. Deb Lievens

    Fabulous plant. I am constantly amazed by the incredible variety found in the Asteraceae. Oh I wish I could visit those mountain tops.

  8. Cody

    Tracey, those round green boulders were in fact not boulders at all, but very old plants, probably of the species Azorella compacta Phil. As the plants grow, the develop a densely branching “trunk” of sorts below the layer of tiny green leaves that form the “green boulders” that you observed. They grow incredibly slowly. Some large plants have been estimated to be many hundreds (perhaps more than a thousand!) years old. Here are some photos: Llareta.

  9. Cody

    Oops! Should have addressed that comment to Tessa!

  10. Eric in SF

    Here is another high altitude cushion plant from the southern puno in Peru, near the Bolivian border.

  11. Chris

    What incredible plants…architectural and beutiful!

  12. Barb Mullinix

    My son commented, “It looks like land coral.” Doesn’t it?

  13. Carlos Velazco

    I just loved this one!

  14. SoapySophia

    Awww, that is so cool! Plants are amazing. Wonderful pictures.

  15. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Wow! Beautiful.
    And love those Llareta.

  16. crowangel

    one word for these lovelies: Tripindicular!

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