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Authors: Cav.  

Botanical Description

loose to compact species 20-50cm tall, with much branched erect to decumbent stems. Leaves ovate, 5-15mm long, shortly stalked, entire or sometimes weakly crenate at the tips, densely white-woolly beneath. Flowers 1.5-3cm in diameter, composed of five reddish to pale pink, more rarely white petals, several in loose rounded cymes on stiff, erect pedicels. The petals are persistent and remain attached to the seed pod acting as sails for wind dispersal when it ripens and falls. Chile (rare in Argentina) from the desert north to the cooler southern Andes, also in coastal mountains from 800-2200m or more. V. crenata is similar, but often smaller, always with crenate leaves which show the veins through the under surface indumentum. The flower clusters are denser, the flowers usually white, sometimes pink, on flexible pedicels. Central Chile, in coastal hills and foothills below 1000m. V. ovata inhabits the same region and is distinguished by smaller yellow flowers with the petals mainly in fours and seed capsules which do not fall.