Chuquiraga jussieui is considered the National Flower of Ecuador, is a native species that grows naturally in moorland and volcanic areas of the Andes region in South America. The national flower of Ecuador is a perennial plant, in addition to its proven medicinal properties, which we will talk about later. The Ecuador national flower is also a very resistant plant that attracts attention because of its color, which ranges from yellow to orange.
Characteristics of the National Flower of Ecuador
The national flower of Ecuador is a botanical species that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Another of the names by which the Ecuador national flower is popularly known, in addition to Chuquiragua, is the walking flower, or Flower of the Andes.
In reality, it is a group of more than 115 species already described; although of all these, only 22 are officially accepted.
By itself, Chuquiraga jussieui is one of the most important foods for some species of hummingbirds in Ecuador, which drink its nectar. In this South American country, it has the title of “vulnerable species”, that is, it is considered a plant species at high risk of extinction in its wild habitat. The national flower of Ecuador is usually found at altitudes ranging from 9842 to 13123 ft (3,000 to 4,000 meters) above sea level.
As for other main characteristics of Chuquiragua, it is a small shrub, with numerous branches, with rounded bushes that almost always measure less than 20″ (50 centimeters) in height. The Ecuador national flower has a kind of thorn on the tip of the leaves, with which it can defend itself against various species of animals that feed on it.
Chuquiraga jussieui flowers are usually light orange or bright yellow, with a tubular corolla and growing solitarily on each of its branches; blooming 2 to 3 times annually. It is not considered a garden flower, and probably in an environment like this one it would not be able to develop properly.
Pictures of the Chuquiragua jussieui
Medicinal Properties of The National Flower of Ecuador
As we mentioned, the national flower of Ecuador has a series of beneficial properties for health that have already been demonstrated by science. Above all, the flowers, leaves, and roots of this plant are used.
Chuquiraga jussieui is considered a powerful sudorific and diuretic plant, so it can be consumed as an infusion, especially in people who have fluid retention problems.
On the other hand, the national flower of Ecuador helps to control the functioning of the digestive system and protects the liver. In addition, the flowers and leaves work as strong anti-inflammatory and healing, both when used as an infusion, as well as when used directly on the skin.
Another of its therapeutic properties is that it improves the functioning of the immune system; thus, it increases the level of defenses, protecting us from infections and diseases.
The “Andinistas” consume it regularly, as they usually find this flower in their journeys and training in the region. Above all, it helps them to keep their bodies warm when they climb high peaks.
Throughout the centuries, various indigenous populations of the area have used Chuquiraga jussieui as a medicinal flower, due to all the properties mentioned above. Properties that were discovered by the Spanish conquistadors upon their arrival.
It is worth mentioning that, being officially declared endangered, it is completely forbidden to cut, transport, and damage Chuquiraga jussieui.
But not only this, even science has proven some medicinal properties of the national flower of Ecuador.
For example, a study carried out in 2011 by the University of Navarra, corroborated the antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects of the Chuquiraga jussieui.
A more recent study, conducted by the University de Las Americas, and completed in January 2019, found that the national flower of Ecuador can eliminate and counteract the action of free radicals, protecting us from various oxidation processes.
Although, the results also showed that the extracts of the leaves had a higher number of beneficial compounds than the flowers themselves.
We hope you enjoy this article about the national flower of Ecuador. We recommend you our article about the national flower of Ukraine.