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About Peru

Typical Peruvian plants

Because of its geographical diversity (coastal desert, mountains, jungle), 28 different climates of the 32 possible in the world and 84 of the 103 ecological zones existing in the world, the Peruvian flora is one of the most diverse on the planet. Peru have 25,000 plant species, 10% of all plants species in the world.


Some representative plants:

altitude sickness motion
Cinchona tree

Cinchona Pubescens

This tree of 10 m (33 ft) in heigh native to the tropical Andes, is a natural heritage of Peru, present in the coat of arms of the national flag as a symbol of one of the most important discovery of the new world in the eighteenth century.

The quina bark, also called Peruvian bark, contains several alkaloids mainly quinine used to treat malaria.


Stipa ichu

It is the typical plant of the Andean Altiplano (Lake Titicaca) growing up to about 50 cm (1 ft 65 in) in high adapted to the arid climate of this area.

Ichu is a grass of primary importance in this region, used as fodder for livestock (llama, alpaca, vicuna, sheep, etc.), also to make roofs, adobe bricks (dried clay) and used as fuel.

kantuta sacred flower

Cantuta Buxifolia

The national flower of Peru and Bolivia, known as the "sacred flower of the Incas", is a native species of the Andes. Cantuta is a shrub up to 3 m (10 ft) in height and has flowers intense red, sometimes yellow.


Schoenoplectus californicus


It is a species of sedge native to South America, found mainly in Lake Titicaca and the coast as well as region of Trujillo 560 km (348 mi) north of Lima.

It grows up to 3 meters (10 ft) in high and is of primary importance in Peru. In Trujillo, fishermen ride the caballitos de totora (little reed horses), reed watercrafts to slide on waves like surf, an ancient practice of the Moche since 2000 years.

In Lake Titicaca, the Uros people make their famous floating islands, houses and boats with with totora.

south american bulrush

25,000 different types of orchids are estimated worldwide. Peru has 2,500 wild species distributed in 224 genera, making Peru the fourth world's country in diversity.

They are found mostly in the Amazon rainforest and high jungle like in Machu Picchu.

Puya Raimondi

Puya Raimondi

It is a wild species endemic to the Andes and is one of the most amazing plants on earth.


It can reach 12 m (40 ft) in height, produces up to 8,000 flowers once in its life when reach 100 years old and then die leaving 6 million seeds.


Puya Raimondi grows between 3,200 and 4,800 meters (10,000 - 16,000 ft), the best known forest is ubicated in the Huascaran National Park center of Peru.

typical tree andes

Polylepis Australis

It is a small tree (4/5 m - 13/16 ft) native to the Andes, growing between 2,000 and 5,000 m (6,000 - 16,000 ft) above sea level.

Its leaves are small, the trunk is quite twisted and the reddish bark flakes and peels as paper, leading some of people of Cusco region to call it "the tree of tourists," referring to a "gringo" peeling after heavy exposure to the sun.



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