The legends and natural history of the Chile’s varied flora offer a sweet-smelling look at traditional culture in this Andean nation.
The añañuca flower is a red wildflower that grows between Copiapó and the Quilimarí valley in northern Chile. This normally arid stretch of desert comes alive with flowers in certain years, in the natural phenomenon known as the desierto florido, or flowering desert.
Legend says that during Spanish rule, there was a beautiful young woman named Añañuca who lived near the Limarí River. She fell in love with a gold miner, who disappeared into the desert one day . Añañuca died of grief. Her family wept for her and buried her on a rainy day. When the sun came out and shone on her grave, the site was filled with beautiful red flowers, named for Añañuca in honor of her pain.
Through captivating text and images the authors manage to bring this legend to life, which goes back to the origin of this beautiful flower.