A selection of pictures showing plants in their natural habitats....

Click on the thumbnails for enlarged versions of the pictures and the accompanying remarks

This page is dedicated to the late Alan Craig who so loved Chile and its plants, and who assisted in the preparation of these notes and who provided all the accompanying photographs.
Chilean flag

The Republic of Chile is a long, narrow country - approximately 4,300km (2,700 miles) long by a maximum of 350km (220 miles) wide - which runs north-south on the Pacific coast of South America. It borders with Peru in the north and ends at the tip of South America at Cape Horn, only about 400 miles north of Antarctica in the south. 

Chile is mostly mountainous, with the Andes range dominating the landscape. Northern Chile is mostly desert, including the extremely dry Atacama Desert, the central region is more temperate (the capital, Santiago and most of the population lives here), south-central Chile is a lake and forest region while the southern part (almost a third of the country) is cold, wet and windy. 

Location map of Chile The significant majority of the Chilean cacti - and all the pictures shown here - can be found to the north of the capital Santiago.

As a general guide the following pictures represent a progression from north to south.

Cumulopuntia hystrix
Cumulopuntia hystrix near El Tatio

Copiapoa solaris
Copiapoa solaris
The Rock Hand
The Rock Hand

Copiapoa cinerea
Copiapoa cinerea form
Copiapoa columna-alba
Copiapoa columna-alba

Thelocephala krausii
near Obispito
Pacific coast near Obispito

Embalsa La Laguna
Embalsa La Laguna
Eulychnia breviflora

with Trysterix
Trichocereus with Trysterix
View near Farrelones
Erdisia spiniflora
near Farrelones


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The copyright for all pictures on this site remains the property of the BCSS Teesside Branch and the original photographer.
Anyone wishing to reproduce any of them for whatever reason, either as hard copies or for website use, should e-mail their request giving full details of the intended use.
Such requests will generally be looked upon favourably provided they are for none commercial purposes.