While Patagonia might be better known for its landscapes of pampas and mountains, the region is still rich in plant life. As a result of the extreme weather conditions that are found here, the native Patagonia flowers that we’ve handpicked for this list are as hardy as they are beautiful. But given how rare some of these plants are, those who find them in their natural environment should consider themselves very fortunate.
Native Patagonia Flowers
Paramela (adesmia boronioides)
Favoring altitudes between 6,500-ft.–12,000-ft. (2,000m and 3,500m) above sea level, the paramela or yakén can be identified by its yellow flowers and small leaves, the latter of which have been used historically by rural communities in Patagonia for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Lady’s slipper (calceolaria biflora)
One of the most beautiful native Patagonia flowers, the lady’s slipper has yellow, slipper-shaped flowers, which sometimes have deep red and white sections. It grows in temperate parts of the mountains in Chilean and Argentine Patagonia.
Streaked maiden (olsynium biflorum)
The streaked maiden lives on sunny hillsides throughout Argentine Patagonia. It is an exceptionally unusual plant to catch in bloom as the white, bell-shaped flowers only last for a few days each year.
With six violet leaves and a bright yellow pistil, the solenomelus is part of the family Iridaceae. It is a very rare Patagonian flower that grows in coastal areas.
Crimson spire (escallonia rubra)
Inhabiting high-altitude areas with plenty of rainfall, the crimson spire or siete camisas (“seven shirts) in Spanish is an evergreen shrub that has delicate pink flowers with a yellow pistil.
White dog orchid (codonorchis lessonii)
The white dog orchid or palomita grows to 12-in. (30cm) tall and has three white outer petals with three to four gathered petals in the center covered in purple spots. It grows in most parts of Chilean Patagonia.
Calafate (berberis microphylla)
Known in English as “barberry”, calafate is an evergreen shrub that blooms yellow or orange, six petal flowers in October. This plant also produces dark blue berries that are used throughout Patagonia in pies or in the local version of the pisco sour, the calafate sour.
Canelo (drimys winteri)
An evergreen tree with white flowers with yellow centers, the canelo or winter’s bark is sacred to the Mapuche people, an indigenous group that live in south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. The flower is found in both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia.
Hummingbird fuchsia (fuchsia magellanica)
The hummingbird fuchsia or hardy fuchsia has bright pink, pendent-shaped flowers and is found in temperate parts of Patagonia.
Lupin (lupines polyphyllus)
The lupin is a perennial herbaceous plant with striking purple and blue flowers that can grow up to 4-ft. 11-in. (1.5m) in height. They are visible along the Carretera Austral in Chilean Patagonia and their seeds were consumed by the Inca who would soak them to remove their bitter taste before boiling and eating them.
Charcao (senecio filaginoides)
The charcao is a perennial shrub with thin branches that are covered in small leaves terminating in tiny yellow flowers. It grows across Patagonia and has a strong aroma thanks to the essential oils that it contains.