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LLareta (Azorella compacte phil.).jpg
in Lauca National Park, Chile
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Azorella
A. compacta
Binomial name
Azorella compacta

Yareta or llareta (Azorella compacta, known historically as Azorella yareta, from yarita in the Quechua language) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to South America. It grows in the Puna grasslands of the Andes in Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile, and western Argentina at altitudes between 3,200 and 5,250 metres (10,500 and 17,220 ft).[1][2]

Distribution of flowers


Yareta is an evergreen perennial with pink or lavender flowers. The self-fertile flowers are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by insects.[citation needed]

The plant prefers sandy, well-drained soils. It can grow in nutritionally poor soils that are acidic, neutral, or basic (alkaline) at altitudes of up to 5,200 metres (17,100 ft).[2] Yareta is well-adapted to high insolation rates typical of the Andes highlands and cannot grow in shade. The plant's leaves grow into an extremely compact, dense mat that reduces heat and water loss.[3] This mat grows near the ground where air temperature is one or two degrees Celsius higher than the mean air temperature. This temperature difference is a result of the longwave radiation re-radiated by the soil surface, which is usually dark gray to black in the Puna.[3]

Yareta is estimated to grow approximately 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) per year.[2] Many yaretas are estimated to be over 3,000 years old.[4] Its very slow growth makes the traditional practice of harvesting it for fuel highly unsustainable.[5]



  1. ^ "Image of Azorella compacta". chileflora. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Kleier, Catherine; Rundel, Philip W. (August 2004). "Microsite requirements, population structure and growth of the cushion plant Azorella compacta in the tropical Chilean Andes". Austral Ecology. 29 (4): 461–470. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2004.01386.x.
  3. ^ a b Wickens, G. E. (April 1995). "Llareta (Azorella Compacta, Umbelliferae): A review". Economic Botany. 49 (2): 207–212. doi:10.1007/BF02862926. ISSN 0013-0001.
  4. ^ Stenger, Richard (2019-11-28). "The oldest living things on Earth". CNN Travel. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  5. ^ "See the world's oldest organisms".

External links[edit]