Cruckshanksia pumila

Another wonderful Chilean endemic that I had the luck to view on a springtime tour of the desert in October 2008 (almost one year ago today, so if you are in the area, now would be a good time to look for this). Endemic means that a plant is found only in a particular region. According to the Flora of Chile Project, it is estimated that nearly half of the native species in Chile are endemic. This is probably due to the extremely varied and often isolated geographic conditions of the country, which range from the driest desert on Earth (the Atacama), to coastal cloud forest, to the Andes mountains, and to the cool, wet Tierra del Fuego.

Despite the lonely appearance of the wild plant in today’s photo, Cruckshanksia pumila is a floriferous annual plant that can form large colonies, and has potential as an ornamental groundcover. The tiny solitary plant in the photo was in a very dry spot and you can see the leaves are already senescing. Chilebosque has a nice collection of photos of the species.

Cruckshanksia pumila
Cruckshanksia pumila

12 responses to “Cruckshanksia pumila”

  1. Sue in Bremerton

    My gosh. What a gem. A long time ago, I asked for some kind of scale o get a better picture in my mind’s eye of the size of the plant, or some kind of way to measure it. Imagine my surprise and delight with the scale on this awesome little flower!
    Long ago I used to pick little flowers on the way into work, and had a tiny perfume bottle for my little bouquets. They had inch long stems, so three of them were just right.
    Thank you so much for a great little flower, even though I can’t pick it… I can still enjoy it.

  2. kate

    Wow! This is so cool… and small!

  3. Sue Vargas

    Little golden nuggets. Beautiful.

  4. Dori

    What an adorable little plant!
    I, too, appreciate the finger for scale.

  5. crowangel

    …and was it named for Hermione Granger’s cat, I wonder-??

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    a carpet of gold spread before us
    and about the world you go
    the chilebosque site is not to be missed scroll all the way to the end of the page right hand sidw a uk flag click and the page becomes english
    thank you eric

  7. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    A lovely wee thing, growing in that parched gravel. Amazing how plants can evolve to adapt to such difficult and varied conditions. The Chilebosque site is indeed worth the trip.

  8. Qamar Mehdi

    Wonder full information. This feature of the UBC is remarkable, we really appreciate it. Best regards
    Mehdi
    Lahore – Pakistan

  9. De Kemist

    Remarkable flower.It survives the loneliness,poor earth and heat depicted by the soil’s appearance.

  10. Liz

    Thank you for including the second photo showing scale. This is always such a help.

  11. Eric in SF

    I just saw this appear in one of my Flickr contacts photostreams:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mauricio_zuve/3990898333/

  12. Seattle Party Bus

    Great writing! Thank you.

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