Native Plants of Chile
Chile is a country in South America that borders the Pacific Ocean. The climate of Chile is very diverse. It has mountainous regions throughout the country that see snow in the winter months. Much of the country is rugged with dense forests. The climate provides a home to many different types of plant life.
The rock purslane (Calandrinia spectabilis) is a perennial, flowering, succulent plant. The thick leaves of the plant form gray-green rosettes that grow to approximately 10 inches tall and up to 3 feet across. The purple flowers are 1 1/2 inches in diameter and bloom during the spring and summer. It is often used as a ground cover plant because it can spread very quickly. The rock purslane prefers at least eight hours or direct sunlight a day and can tolerate dry soils. It can survive with very little care.
Roble Beech (Nothofagus obliqua) is a deciduous tree that is native to Chile. It is a tall tree that can grow up to 175 feet tall. The wood of the tree is slightly yellow and durable and is often used to make furniture. It is a hardy tree and can survive a hard frost. It prefers warmer temperatures in full sunlight and can tolerate dry climates. The tree flowers in the spring with a tiny green flower that is not very showy.
Chilean guava (Ugni molinae) is an evergreen, flowering bush that only grows to a foot tall. The flowers are small and pink and bloom during the spring and summer. The bush is usually only grown for ornamental purposes and is frequently used as a container plant. It is a hardy plant but prefers cooler temperatures and can survive a hard freeze. They grow best in full sunlight with moist soil. The fruit is about the size of a blueberry and crimson in color. They are frequently used to make jellies and jams.
The copao (Eulychnia acida) is a member of the cactus family. It is a treelike cactus that can grow up to 14 feet tall. The flowers of the copao are white with pink edges and are 2 inches in diameter. The cactus produces a green fruit that is about the size of a grapefruit. You cut the fruit open and eat the insides. The cactus prefers full sun and can tolerate dry soil conditions.