A peculiar-looking type of perennial, evergreen plant called the Glad Alien is native to Tierra del Fuego in southern South America. It grows closely to the ground and doesn’t go much taller than 45 inches, like other real alpine plants.
Calceolaria uniflora, sometimes known as the “glad Alien plant,” is an odd-looking species of perennial, evergreen plant native to Tierra del Fuego in southern South America. Calceolaria uniflora, also known as Darwin’s Slipper Flower (the term “slipper flower” is a generic common name for all species within the Calceolaria genus), was first found by Charles Darwin during his voyage around South America known as the Voyage of the Beagle, which took place between 1831 and 1836.
Actually, Calceolaria darwinii was the previous name for this species, but it has since been replaced.
Calceolaria uniflora, a cold-climate mountain species found in extremely exposed, well-drained areas, is discovered not far from the south pole. Its natural habitats include clifftops, riverbanks, clearings in scrubland, peaty alpine fescue moorland, feldmark, and coastal and riverine sands and rocks.
It grows close to the ground and doesn’t go much taller than 4-5 inches, just like other true alpine plants. The 2-inch-long, pouch-shaped blooms are produced throughout the summer on tall, slender stems that emerge from a rosette of tiny tongue-shaped leaves.
The flowers have variable degrees of deep garnet-red to bright chestnut coloring or freckling in the throat and on the outside of the vertical lower lip. Each bloom has an open “mouth” with a white strip across it and burgundy patterns above and below. A local species of bird is drawn to the white part, which is distributed as though it were on a tray. The bird consumes this portion of the flower, bringing pollen to its head in the process. When the bird eats from another flower, that blossom is also pollinated.
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