Published: March 11, 2019

One of the most charismatic genera of Petunieae is Fabiana, a group of xerophytes native to the southern Andes and especially species-rich in Argentina. As part of our NSF-funded research on flower color evolution in this clade, Luke and Rocio spent two weeks exploring the dry valleys of northern and central Argentina in search of these plants, and were able to find several of them flower. Fabiana bryoides, shown below, wins for the cutest species, with its extremely reduced leaves and tiny lilac flowers. Luke also found time to ford a river in the rental car, and impressively, avoid getting stuck in the mud for the entire time. They were accompanied by botanist Virginia Palchetti, a PhD student at the University of Cordoba who is studying salinity tolerance in the succulent Lycium humile (those black berries below, image by L. Wheeler). 

LukeRocioVictoria Fabianabryoides
Field Lyciumhumile