The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Viola uniquissima J.M.Watson & A.R.Flores

Place of Publication

Int. Rock Gard. 128: 40:: 40 (2020)

Type citation

CHILE. Tarapacá Region, Tamarugal Province, Pica Community near Collahuasi (or Collaguasi), approximate coordinates 21º00'S 68º00'W, ca. 4000-4500 m, Feb 2008, collector unknown, specimen number P15! (holotype SGO).



  • Watson & Flores (2020c)

    Watson, J M and Flores, A R 2020. Meet our most unique Viola and its unique high Andean habitat. A renamed new species endemic to the northern semi-desert Altiplano of Chile. International Rock Garden 128(40): 3.52




Desert and Andean desert

Distribution and habitat

Only recorded as one collection of a single individual found in the southern sector of Tarapacá Region Pica, , cerca de la mina Doña Inés de Collahuasi, 4000-4500 metres. Semi-desert high Andean steppe which is frequently dominated by Anatherostipa venusta and Festuca chrysophylla. Dispersed, compact, dense cushion and mat-forming species, cacti and dwarf xerophytic shrubs resistant to the effects of the extreme climate at high elevations characterize the overall accompanying flora (Watson & Flores, 2020c)

Conservation status

  • Extinct (Watson & Flores (2020c))


Even though no information exists as to the size or extent of the only known population of the new species, with only one individual collected so far, the fact that it was found in an extensive and ever-expanding area of open-cast mining operations leaves no doubt at all that it must qualify as Extinct (Watson & Flores, 2020).