8 julio, 2024

Flora of Arequipa: most representative species

The flora of Arequipa it is very diverse; This department has a large amount of flora in its ecosystem due to the combination of a peculiar geographical area, its soil and altitude.

Arequipa has among its varied plants, some edible such as corn, barley, tuna, broad beans, potatoes and tunas. Other outstanding plants are those that have medicinal properties, among these are the muña and nettle.

It is important to highlight that in Arequipa the trees have adapted to the aridity of their lands. Some of these trees are carob, myrtle and yaros.

There are also some quite characteristic shrubs of this department, some of them are puna straw, cacti and tola. In addition, its valleys are very fertile for agricultural production.

Flora species in Arequipa

Of all the vast variety of flora, the following species stand out:


This is a plant that can be located in the upper area of ​​Arequipa, approximately 4,500 or 5,000 meters above sea level.

The yareta is a very strange plant, since it grows in environments where other plants could not exist. This usually grows by wrapping the rocks like a moss, it is resistant to almost all types of soils.

This plant grows around 1 meter; however, growth is slow, it can take up to 20 years to reach that size.

The yareta has medicinal properties. Its infused leaves are a good medicine against pneumonia and the flowers. Also in infusion, they are used for diabetes.


It is a tree that usually grows in tropical Andean forests. These trees have twisted trunks and can grow up to 15 meters tall. Its bark is reddish in color and they can measure up to two meters in diameter.

It should be noted that its foliage remains green and its leaves are small. These particular trees can grow at an altitude between 3,600 meters and 4,500 meters.

They are the main source of firewood for the locals.

carob trees

The carob trees are trees and shrubs, the trees can reach 10 meters, while the shrubs do not exceed 3 or 4 meters.

In Arequipa, these trees have a very particular shape in their branches. These are ascending and other hanging, which can touch the ground. Some carob trees have thorns, this in order to protect themselves from predators.

This tree grows very easily, it is also very invasive thanks to its ability to reproduce in two ways. Its seed is very light, which makes dispersing it easier.

In Arequipa they give a very particular use to their wood; They use it to make charcoal, which is used mainly to make their famous grilled chicken.

Aloysia spathulata

It is a shrub of approximately one and a half meters in height that is characterized for being an endemic shrub of Arequipa.

The Bush Aloysia apathulata It has a square and smooth stem when young, and over time the stems become rounder. It also has aromatic flowers, which makes the shrub to be recognized by its smell.


The Peruvian reed is located in the areas with the highest humidity (swamps, coast, riverbanks). It can reach 90 cm and flowers between the months of April and July. It is a highly valued plant for basket crafts.


Highland grass of the Andes adapted mainly to rocky, sandy and arid regions. Rodents such as the mountain vizcacha feed on this type of straw.


Carlos Garayar, MM (2003). Departmental Atlas of Peru: Arequipa. La República newspaper, in co-edition with Peisa. Gibaja, S. (1998). Natural Pigments. Lima: UNMSM. Heim, E. (2014). Flora of Arequipa, Peru: A Field Guide for Nature Lovers. BooksOnDemand.

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