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The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Heliotropium pycnophyllum Phil.

  1. Classified in >
  2. genus: Heliotropium >
  3. Family: Heliotropiaceae

Place of Publication

Fl. Atacam: 38 (1860a)

Type citation

Chile, Región de Atacama, Prov. Chañaral Cachinal de la Costa, Dec. 1853, Κ A. Philippi s.n. (holotype: SCO 54374; isotype: W 12981).


Common names

  • palo negro
  • palo negro

Conservation status

  • Least Concern (Luebert (2013))


  • Luebert (2013): Fig. 4. (a-f)
  • Descriptions

    • Luebert (2013)


    Low and globose, erect shrub, 0.4–1.0 m tall. Flowering September to November.

    Key characteristics

    Differs from all other Chilean species by having revolute leaves. Further differences include the style and head of the stigma with short hispid hairs, calyx remains attached to the fruit during dispersal, fruit 4-seeded and not divided


    Tarapacá and Atacama


    Desert and Desert fog oasis

    Distribution and habitat

    Provinces of Chanaral (Region de Atacama) and Antofagasta (Region de Antofagasta) 23°28'-27°4'. Coastal dry areas on sandy and gravelly substrates on the eastern plains of the coastal Cordillera (Johnston 1929), between sea level and 950 m. It has never been found in the fog zone but is locally dominant with Frankenia chilensis, Gypothmanium pinifolium, Heliotropium linarifolium and Nolana villosa (Luebert, 2013) in hyper-arid areas.


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    Seed of this species is banked by the national seed bank of Chile, INIA.


    • Philippi R.A. (1860a)

      Philippi, R.A. 1860a. Florula Atacamensis seu enumeratio plantarum, quas in itinere per desertum Atacamense. Sumptibus E. Anton

    • Luebert (2013)

      Luebert, F. 2013. A revision of Heliotropium sect. Cochranea (Heliotropiaceae). Kew Bulletin 68(1): 1-54.

    • Johnston (1929a)

      Johnston, I.M. 1929. Papers on the Flora of Northern Chile. Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 85: 1-172