Nature Plants | Plant Life

Looks like a boulder, smells of pines.


Editor Guillaume Tena says his favourite plant is the llareta (Azorella compacta). It is an amazing alien-looking plant with a quechua name, growing at very high altitudes in the Andes and the Altiplano of South America. This flowering plant is so compact that you can walk on it. It’s a beautiful example of adaptation to extreme conditions and survival. Llareta looks like enormous cushions, or maybe some sort of terrestrial coral, and quite often are the only trace of green in the altitude deserts, for kilometers around. Because of its high resin content, it smells a bit like Mediterranean pines, and was traditionally used as fuel in the rural communities of the Andes.


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