Yareta (Azorella compacta)

Yareta (Azorella compacta) is perhaps the plant that has fascinated me the most on the Altiplano.

It reminds me of coral reefs and the Brain coral (Faviidae), and grows comparably slowly. It can also live up to 3000 years, or even more as humans have used it for firewood and thus might have killed the oldest specimens.

Altitude: 4344 metres.

Native range is Peru to Argentina.

 Yareta (Azorella compacta)
When a large individual like this is in bloom, hordes of insects are drawn in to eat the sticky resin-like nectar. I could smell the sweet scent far away, and as the sun heats up the air, the increasing wind will carry the scent far away.

It’s incredible how this plant is like a chemical miracle factory – able to produce this sweet substance from the meager soil and little rain.


Last updated on 27 June 2024