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  Flora of Chile Logo

Flora of Chile Project

En español

Preparation of a modern Flora de Chile is currently underway at the Department of Botany of the University of Concepción, Chile, under the direction of General Editors Prof. Clodomiro Marticorena and Dr. Roberto Rodríguez, and in collaboration with an international group of specialists and institutions. Collaborating institutions include the Missouri Botanical Garden and the University of Munich, Germany. Volume 1 of this flora (Marticorena & Rodríguez, 1995), containing introductory chapters and taxonomic treatments of the Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms, was published in 1995, and work on the remaining volumes is actively underway.

The country of Chile extends for 4500 km along the southwest coast of South America, from the subtropics to Antarctica, and also includes the Juan Fernández Archipelago, the Desventuradas Islands, and Easter Island. Continental Chile is isolated biologically on the north by the Atacama desert, to the east by the Andes, and to the south and west by oceans. Within this area are diverse vegetation types, including hyperarid desert, summer-dry scrublands, the dry cold puna of the high Andes, and temperate rainforest. The flora includes about 5,000 species of vascular plants. About 49% of the native species are estimated to be endemic to Chile; this proportion is expected for oceanic islands but unusually high for a continental area.

A checklist of the complete Chilean flora was presented by Marticorena & Quezada (1985), and was analyzed statistically by region (i.e., separately for continental Chile and each island group) and by status (endemic, native, introduced) by Marticorena (1990). Marticorena (1992, 1996) presented an extensive bibliography of the Chilean flora that is cross-referenced by family, genus, geographic distribution, and other factos. A complete treatment of the weeds of the Chilean flora was presented by Matthei (1995).

The Flora de Chile is expected to comprise six or seven volumes, with taxonomic treatments contributed by specialists in various plant groups. Distribution maps are presented for each species, and some illustrations of diagnostic features are included. Family order follows Cronquist's system, except the Cactaceae are projected to be issued as a separate volume. For more information, contact the General Editors (fax :56-41-246-005).


Marticorena, C. 1990. Contribución a la estadística de la flora vascular de Chile. Gayana, Bot. 47(3-4): 85-114.

Marticorena, C. 1992. Bibliografía Botánica Taxonómica de Chile. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 41.

Marticorena, C. 1996. Bibliografía Botánica Taxonómica de Chile. Gayana, Bot. 53(1): 1-263.

Marticorena, C. & M. Quezada. 1985. Catálogo de la flora vascular de Chile. Gayana, Bot. 42: 1-155.

Marticorena, C. & R. Rodríguez, eds. 1995. Flora de Chile. Vol. 1. Universidad de Concepción.

Matthei, O. 1995. Manual de la Malezas que Crecen en Chile. Santiago, privately published.


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