The plants were described by Werdermann in 1929 as Opuntia leoncito. The plants were already called “leoncito” by the native people, the name meaning “liitle puma”, because of the supposed likeness of a lying puma.
Home of this species is in Chile in the region around the Co. Cadillal on the way to Paso Pircas Negras and Argentina.
Maihueniopsis leoncito SAR 16291 on the way to Paso Pircas Negras.
Close-up of a flower.
Close-up of a segment of Maihueniopsis leoncito.
We found fruits of Maihueniopsis leoncito on plants, that grew about 200m lower than the flowering plants.
In a publication F. Kattermann mentions plants of Maihueniopsis leoncito, that grow further west near Ramadilla. We could visit the habitat of these plants as well.
Maihueniopsis aff. leoncito SAR 15911 near Ramadilla, Chile. This was one of the largest plants. The flower also showed very little similarities with those on the way to Paso Pircas Negras.
These plants reminded us rather of Maihueniopsis archiconoidea than of Maihueniopsis leoncito, as we had seen it at Cerro Cadillal.
We hope that here also further examinations will lead to more clarity.