Maihueniopsis atacamensis

Maihueniopsis atacamensis SAR 16171 south of Tilomonte, Chile

This species was described in 1860 by Philippi as Opuntia atacamensis. The type was collected at Profetas, Chile, where the plants are rare. However, Philippi mentions that he also saw such plants near Puquios, Chile, and in the Pingopingo mountains, Chile, where the plants should be more frequent. It is rather easy to identify these places even nowadays from a map that is part of the first description.

Here, you can see a flower of a plant from Tilomonte, Chile, and these

are fruits of the plants from the same location.

Further southwest, about the place “Puquios” of Philippi we found this plant.

Maihueniopsis atacamensis SAR 16171

Here a view inside the flower of these plants.

Further examinations are necessary to show whether there are enough differences to separate this species from the later described Maihueniopsis camachoi.

However, the spination of the true M. atacamensis should be significantly shorter.