From the andes

CHUQUIRAGUA

Scientific name: Chuquiraga jussieui


It is a low shrub, reaching 15 dm in height, with hard bark, with conspicuous foliar scars; leaves up to 12 mm long, hard, subsessile, alternate, spiral, imbricate, ovate to lanceolate, acute and spiny apex, rounded base, uninnervated, coriaceous; involucre turbinate, with imbricate bracts in 5–10 series (exteriors long and tapering inwards), spiny orange-brown; receptacle flat, pubescent. Flowers 2 cm long, in inflorescence in heads 6 cm long, 16–45, tubular corolla, 5-parted at the apex, densely bearded, yellow to whitish; Stamens 5, anther with long basal appendage, apical appendage linear-lanceolate, acute. Turbinate achene fruit, villous or bristly; pappus with feathery bristles, uniseriate.

 

In the Cotopaxi snow-capped mountain, in the Ecuadorian Andes, you can find bushes of this plant with a height of almost 3 meters. The infusion of this plant is medicinal.

Diuretic and sweaty properties are attributed to it if it is taken as an infusion, or it serves as a healing and anti-inflammatory when used topically. This native plant of the Ecuadorian páramo can be found from 3,000 to 5,000 meters above sea level. Its healing power has been considered by the inhabitants of the communities as very important, especially when it comes to curing the liver or kidney.

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