+40 plants in danger of extinction in Chile - Names, characteristics and photos

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Plants are living things that, like animals, depend on environmental conditions to develop and reproduce. However, these have the particularity of not being able to escape from the threat of some danger to their survival and, when there is enough pressure to increase the probability that there will be no specimen of the species left on the planet, we speak of species in Danger of extinction. For centuries, the landscapes of Chile have suffered great pressure of anthropic origin, from the hand of the human being, such as overgrazing, the fragmentation of the landscape due to the intrusion of urban land, climate change, large forest fires and substitution of the native flora of Chile of high ecological value for another exotic one. All this has promoted that today there are more than 10 endangered species in the country and more than 20 in a vulnerable state of conservation.

If you were wondering what species of flora are in danger of extinction in Chile, stay reading this article by Ecologist Verde, since here you will discover +40 plants in danger of extinction in Chile, some of its morphological characteristics and the causes of its threats.

Hazelnut (Avellanita bustillosii)

Endemic shrub of Chile and belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is typical of areas with a Mediterranean climate in the Cordillera de la Costa in the Valparaíso, Metropolitana and O'Higgins regions. It can reach 2-3 meters in height and is a monoecious species, where the female flowers are separated from the male flowers, but both are present in the same bush. The foliage of hazelnut (Hazelnut bustillosii)It is not dense and the arrangement of the leaves is at the end of the branches. It is one of the endangered plants of Chile, as there are few specimens left and it is especially threatened by the forest fires typical of the regions with a Mediterranean climate.

Image: Pinterest

Southern acorn (Beilschmiedia berteroana)

East native tree of Chile and similar to the laurel, it is found in the Chilean rainfed areas of O'Higgins, Maule and Biobío and concentrates 23% of the threatened plants in this country. It is a species whose ideal light conditions are shady. Currently, the southern acornBeilschmiedia berteroana) is severely affected by human influence and it is estimated that 8 subpopulations remain of no more than 2,000 individuals total.

Dalea (Dalea azurea)

In addition to in danger of extinction, this species is listed as rare for being present in only one region of Chile (Antofagasta on the southern coast) and, furthermore, for having few individuals. The give to (Dalea azurea) It is made up of a series of branches that grow level with the ground and rise at the end. Its flowers grow in spikes and are blue and white in color and the fruit is a legume with a seed. The threats suffered by this plant are grazing, as well as extreme rain events.

Image: Chilean Endemics

Lucumillo (Myrcianthes coquimbensis)

It is an endemic species of Chile that inhabits the rocky coast of Elqui. Plant lucumillo or myrtle (Myrcianthes coquimbensis) It is, in fact, a shrub that has a rounded and dense crown, which can reach up to 1.5 meters. It's found threatened for being present in areas of great urban and industrial pressure and for the tourist expansion, factors that are linked.

Image: Pinterest

Metarma woolly (Metharme lanata)

The woolly metatarsalMetharme lanata) it is a deciduous subshrub and its small size does not exceed 10 cm in height and 15 cm in diameter. It inhabits the foothills of Arica and Parinacota and Tarapacá. It grows in sandy, high-altitude areas and its regrowth is favored when abundant rains occur.

Image: Flickr

Michay de paposo (Berberis litoralis)

Another of the native plants in danger of extinction in Chile it is this endemic shrub to the north of the country, in the vicinity of Paposo. Those of the michay de paposoBerberis litoralis) leaves are oval, hard, dark green with a spiny edge. The flowers are yellow in the form of a cluster and the fruits are blue-green berries. The problems for its conservation are due to grazing activities and its use for firewood.

Red Michay (Berberidopsis corallina)

The voqui pilfuco or michay red (Berberidopsis corallina) It is a climbing shrub that can reach 5 meters in height. Its distribution is restricted to the area of the Cordillera de la Costa in Chile. Its leaves are evergreen, the most ideal lighting conditions for this plant are generally dark and it is usually found near waterways.

It's found in danger of extinction because the habitat in which it is found, native coastal forest in the aforementioned mountain range, has been reduced due to the enormous destruction caused by the expansion of cattle ranching and commercial plantations of eucalyptus and distinguished pine.

Pitao (Pitavia punctata)

The pitao, pitrán or canelillo (Pitavia punctata) is a endemic tree in danger of extinction currently living in the Maule, Biobío and Araucania regions. It has dense foliage, the bark gray ash, it can measure 15 meters and the leaves are aromatic. Its main threats are the fragmentation of its habitat due to forest fires and the replacement of native forest by forest plantations.

Queule (Gomortega keule)

The queuleGomortega keule) It's one of the Chilean trees threatened currently in the country in the Maule and Biobío regions. It is an evergreen species that can reach 15 meters in height. Its fruits are large yellow drupes up to 6 cm long. It is normally surrounded by eucalyptus and pine plantations, which makes it difficult to disperse its seeds, as well as being threatened by uncontrolled deforestation.

Image: Maulee

Ruil (Nothofagus alessandrii)

Another of the trees of the native flora of Chile It is the ruil. Endemic to the coast of the Maule region, this light green deciduous tree can reach heights of 30 meters. It is a monoecious species, with pale green flowers. The main threat you are in endangered situation are the logging for firewood and charcoal and the invasion of Pinus radiata in the forests of ruilNothofagus alessandrii). Currently, 12% of the total population of this tree is protected in the Los Ruiles National Reserve (Maule Region).

Other plants in danger of extinction in Chile

These are listed below other plants that are at risk from becoming endangered in the near future if the threats to which they are exposed persist.

  • Acaena masaout
  • Larch (Fitzroya cupressoides)
  • Algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis)
  • Apium fernandezianum
  • Araucaria (Araucaria araucana)
  • Asplenium polyodon
  • Asplenium stellatum
  • Berberis corymbosa
  • Berberis masafuerana
  • Boehmeria excelsa
  • Charcoal (Cordia decandra)
  • Chenopodium sanctaeclarae
  • Cypress of the mountain range (Austrocedrus chilensis)
  • Erigeron ingae
  • Gavilea insularis
  • Guayacan (Porlieria chilensis)
  • Haloragis masafuerana
  • Hualo (Nothofagus glauca)
  • Hymenophyllum rugosum
  • Juania australis
  • Lucumo (Pouteria splendens)
  • Northern Luma (Legrandia concinna)
  • Machaerina scirpoidea
  • Nicotiana cordifolia
  • Pacama (Myrica pavonis)
  • Chilean palm (Jubaea chilensis)
  • Palo gordo or Chilean Papayo (Carica chilensis)
  • Robinsonia evenia
  • Spergularia confertiflora
  • Tamarugo (Prosopis tamarugo)
  • Valdivia or Leon Plant (Valdivia gayana)
  • Wahlembergia berteroi

There are also two Chilean carnivorous plants found in the Magallanes Region and they are Sundew uniflora or sun dew and Pinguicula antarctica or violetilla of the swamps.

Now that you have discovered all these endangered plant species in Chile, we encourage you to discover more about the flora and fauna of Chile with this other article by Ecologist Verde.

If you want to read more articles similar to Plants in danger of extinction in Chile, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

  • Chilebosque. Hazelnut bustillosii. Recovered from: http://www.chilebosque.cl/shrb/avellanita_bustillosii.html
  • Ministry of Environment. Government of Chile. National inventory of Chilean species. Retrieved from: http://especies.mma.gob.cl/CNMWeb/Web/WebCiudadana/ficha_indepen.aspx?EspecieId=68
  • Botany and Gardens. Berberidopsis corallina. Recovered from: http://www.botanicayjardines.com/berberidopsis-corallina/
  • Arauco. Berberidopsis corallina. Retrieved from: https://www.arauco.cl/chile/sostenibilidad/berberidopsis-corallina/
  • Chloris chilensis, Chilean Magazine of flora and vegetation. Berberis litoralis. Recovered from: https://www.chlorischile.cl/finger-flora%20paposo-taltal/Berberis%20litoralis.htm
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