Nassauvia glomerulosa (Lag. ex Lindl.) D. Don
“Piche’s tail” (Asteraceae—Sunflower/Daisy family)
The genus Nassauvia was founded by Commerson in honour to the Prince of Nassau (Germany) in the 18th century, and contains about 40 species which grow from Bolivia along the Andes to southern Patagonia (Chile and Argentina) including Falckland (Malvinas) Islands. Species of Nassauia are herbs, shrubs and subshrubs with crowded, small, leaves; white or liliaceous flowers; and capitula usually condensed in spike-like or head-like groups. Nassauvia glomerulosa is the most frequent and widespread species of Nassauvia in Patagonia. Best known by its vernacular name “Cola de Piche”, N. glomerulosa is easily distinguished from other vegetation by the unique appearance of its mature branches that resemble the scamose tail of the “Armadillo” or “Piche” (Zaedyus pichiy Desmarest), because of hundreds of short, bud-like stems (brachyblasts) with even smaller, rolled leaves that cover the old branches like scales. Populations of N. glomerulosa show a wide range of morphological variation, in terms of brachyblast structure, in a continuous series that leads to N. axillaris.
Mulinum spinosum (Cav.) Pers.
“Neneo” (Apiaceae—Carrot/Celery/Parsley family)
The genus Mulinum includes about 15–20 species endemic to Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Species of Mulinum are herbs or subshrubs, usually with a cushion-like growth, densely imbricate, lobed leaves, and winged fruits. Mulinum spinosum or “Neneo” is one of the main components of the vegetation of non-andean Patagonia. It is easy to recognize in the field by its light green, hard, spiny, 3-lobed leaves. However, M. spinosum is a complex of populations with a highly variable chromosome number (x = 8), leaf size, and sexual expression (there may be monoecious or dioecious individuals, or individuals combining perfect with staminate or carpellate flowers). Morphological variation in M. spinosum forms a continuous series connected to M. echinus DC.