Friday, July 26, 2013

Senecio or Rabbit Ears at the Cayambe Refuge: An Andean relative of the Sunflower

This relatively small plant, depending on the height you find yourself, belongs to the same family as the European sunflower is an Asteraceae, and it resembles it in a small scale. On the last time I was at the Cayambe Volcano, doing glacier training with a group of English mountain climbers, I had the chance to go outside, early in the morning, to photograph this incredible small plant that due to its white fur, it can withstand the extremely cold night temperature.

This plant is one of the first colonists of the rocky highlands, below the glacier line in all of our mountains. You can find it also outside the Whymper refuge on the Chimborazo Volcano, at 5,000 meters above sea level.

On this day we had a great view of the Antisana Volcano, viewing south west of Cayambe, and also of all the highlands between both volcanoes, which in the majority are part of the Cayambe - Coca and Antisana Ecological Reserves.

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