24 junio, 2024

Flora of the Peruvian coast

What is the flora of the Peruvian coast?

The flora of the peruvian coast It is the one whose habitat corresponds to the Pacific Ocean coast, and is one of the most exotic and diverse on the planet, with approximately 10% of exclusive species.

These plant species include 128 endemic genera, both domestic and wild. It is also observed that the flora of the Peruvian coast has the largest number of cotton varieties in all of South America.

The flora of the Peruvian coast, and of the entire territory itself, is also creditor of the first place in the world ranking for having among them the largest number of orchid species, with around 1,816 known up to now.

One of the factors that influence the proliferation of flora on the Peruvian coast is the climate, which is dry without being arid. The coast has an extension of 2,500 kilometers in length, almost a tenth of the country’s territory.

It is understood that thanks to its large portion of land, 500 meters above sea level, both in the north, center and south, it covers coastlines, valleys, pampas, deserts, tablazos, estuaries, hills and saline depressions.

Another factor that promotes the variety of species is the proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Peruvian Andes.

Species more important of the flora of the Peruvian coast

Next, I leave you some of the most important and common species that can be found on the Peruvian coast, both in its northern, central or southern area, where the coastline culminates.

1. Carob

While the traditional carob tree is native to the Middle East, the Peruvian carob tree is shaped like a large leguminous tree, much like a bean plant.

Pods similar to those of other legumes grow from it, from which a syrup called carob, of great demand in Peruvian gastronomy. It can be found in the Piura region, among dry tropical forests.

2. Huarango

Known by the scientific name Prosopis pallida, the huarango belongs to the carob family. Although this family has spread throughout the world, its qualities have given it a critical role on the continent.

This plant grows along the northern coast of Peru, where it is known for its abundant fruits and highly nutritious seeds, which are used to make nougat candy.


It is known as plumeria rubra or Flower of May. It grows candelabra-shaped, with a trunk and multiple branches of similar length that support an open canopy. This species grows from 0.9 to 5 meters tall and is partially deciduous, losing all its leaves during long, dry periods.

Its yellow flowers are often used as an herbal remedy. It is one of the most common and well-known ornamental trees grown in the tropics.

4. Ponciana

The flame tree, also known as royal poncian, is a member of the bean family and widely considered one of the most beautiful tropical trees in the world. This tree produces flowers such as scarlet and yellow flowers in spring, before the leaves emerge.

As the trees mature, they develop broad umbrella-shaped crowns. The leaves resemble ferns and are composed of smaller ones that fold at the beginning of the sunset.

In addition, the tree produces brown, woody seed pods that reach lengths of up to 60 cm. They commonly flourish in dry coastal climates.

5. Fig tree

Called common fig, it is a deciduous shrub or small tree. It is noted for its spreading habit, attractive foliage, and edible fruit. Old trees have thick gray bark and are used as attractive ornamentals. The leaves are large, palmate and hairy, rough, dark green above and smooth, and light green below.

Fruit develops within each receptacle, maturing in late summer. In some areas, a minor crop may appear in spring times.

6. Ceibo

Its scientific name is Erythrina crista-galli, although it is also called in some parts of the world coral tree. It is a small deciduous tree that grows 15 to 20 feet tall and wide thanks to its twisted trunk with dark bark.

The leaves are composed of 3 green leaflets that have curved spines along the veins on the petioles.

Its flowers are generally scarlet red, sometimes tending to a pinkish or purple hue with white markings. This species is widespread in South America from Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, being the national tree in the latter two.

It is also commonly known as the cock’s comb tree. This species received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 2012.

7. Wild

The scientific name of the wildcat is tillandsia usneoides, but it is also known as guajaca, beards of úcar and witch hair (Colombia). It is a lichen-like plant. It usually grows in areas with a warm climate or high humidity.

They are plants with a flexible stem, swirling and thin leaves. As they grow, they form hanging structures that can measure up to 2 meters in length. Among its particularities, the savage does not have roots and rarely blooms.

Its distribution is wide, being found in countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and the United States.

8. Amancaes flower

Its scientific name is ismene amandaes, a type of bulbous plant and endemic to Peru. It is common in the cold and humid seasons. It is a natural symbol of the city of Lima.

It is characterized by having white bulbs, green leaves and yellow flowers with green lines inside. It flowers once a year in rocky areas and its life time is a maximum of 4 days. The plant is not very common today and is in danger of extinction.

9. Tare

Known by its scientific name caesalpinia spinosa, is a shrub-type leguminous plant. It can measure up to 5 meters in height, its bark is dark gray. Its branches are short with thorns.

Its flowers are yellow with orange tints. Its fruit is a pod with black seeds inside. The testa and aril of the seed are edible, while the endosperm is used to stabilize and emulsify some foods.

10. toothpick

Its scientific name is Capparis sprucei and it is a kind of shrub type plant with a very showy flower. Its foliage is used for ornamental purposes. The fruit is an edible berry when its color turns yellow.

It is an endemic plant in some regions of Brazil and Peru. The toothpick is currently a threatened species due to the loss of its habitat.

11. Huaranguay

Its scientific name is tecoma stans and it is a small tree native to Peru. It has a hard wood, green leaves, showy yellow flowers and an elongated fruit about 7 to 21 centimeters long.

The plant have medicinal properties. It is used to treat diseases such as diabetes, dysentery and some gastric disorders.


The Ecology of Seashores. Recovered from crcpress.com.
Erythrina crista-galli at San Marcos Growers. Retrieved from smgrowers.com.

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