Another first-time BPotD contributor today, Huenchecal.@Flickr, who is associated with the exceptional Chilebosque site about the native flora of Chile. Today’s photograph was shared via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool (original image). Thank you!
Garra de león, or lion’s claw, is endemic to Chile, where it is restricted to the coastal zone of the Atacama Desert. Photographed here in Llanos de Challe National Park, protection for the species seems necessary; it is considered endangered (PDF), though it doesn’t seem to be formally recognized as such yet (it doesn’t appear on the IUCN Red List, as an example). One of the reported threats is introduced goats: Leontochir ovallei via the Pacific Bulb Society Wiki.
Leontochir is a monotypic genus (it contains only the one species). Phillippi named it Leontochir in 1873 as a Greek translation of its Chilean common name. Like most other members of its subfamily (the Alstroemerieae), the species is a geophyte (it has fleshy underground storage organs). In the wild, the species flowers in October and November.
Additional photographs of this species are available from Arkive.org: Leontochir ovallei (including some by other occasional BPotD contributors).