Los Glaciares National Park

Approximately, 260,000 ha are covered with ice, and therefore with no vegetation, and about 95,000 ha of lakes. The woods cover about 79.000 ha, and the predominant species are lenga and guindo. The flora of Los Glaciares National Park belongs to the Magellan District, the most southern one.

Ñire and Lenga wood.

Among the bushes, the more representative are the notro, of beautiful red flowers, the calafate, of yellow flowers and purple fruit, and the sauco del diablo in the humid areas.
In this page:
The flora grows in three well defined areas:


Highlands Semidesert
The steppe presents a high adaptation to very dry conditions and the defense against cold and wind. The "gramineas" grow in low and compact tufts, with folded leaves, rigid and covered with thick cutine which diminishes evaporation. There are often seen round bushes, like neneo o also half moon shaped bushes.
In between the upper Andean vegetation and the lakes the most important species are Nothofagus. The woods upper boundary lies between 1,000 to 1,100 Mts.

There are three Nothofagus species in the park:
  • Lenga (Nothofagus pumilio)
  • Ñire (Nothofagus antárctica)
  • Coihue o guindo (Nothofagus betuloides)

Of these, the lenga is the most widely distributed and occupies the biggest proportion of the woods. They're found usually covered with Usnea, called "old mans´ beard", because of it's shape of long ribbons hanging from the trees.

The mountains around Lago Argentino are covered with dense and continuous woods..1

To the west, as in Mayo and Spegazzini , can be found the Magellan hygrofile woods. In this sections, from the lakes level up to 500 mts. over sea level the woods are dominated by the guindo (Nothofagus Betuloides), which under favorable conditions can reach 20/30 Mts. high and one meter diameter. By the guindo is often seen the canelo, between 8 to 12 Mts. high, and the sauco. Under the trees, there are many bushes species.

The herbal stratum is open and offers Uncinia brevicaulis, Valeriana lapathyfolia, Viola maculata among others.

There is only one species of creeper which grows by the streams or by the trunks: Luzuriaga marginata. Philesia magellanica, a climbing plant of colorful red flowers, has a very restricted

Lenga wood

Lenga and ñire wood in autumn

Lenga leaf


Calafate fruit
Highlands Semidesert
Starts over 1000 - 1100 mts high, up to 1500-1600 mts ( inferior boundary to the permanent snow).2 

This kind of vegetation presents very short coverage and mostly grass cushions, frequently of Azorella and Bolax Species. In humid areas the vegetation is dense, there can be found species as Azorella lycopodioides, Epilobium australe, Epilobium nivale, Alopecurus antarcticus; and also Empetrum rubrum y Marsippospermun cf reichei.

In some places, immediately over the lenga level, there is a bush area dominated by Empetrum rubrum and Pernettya sp.

As a difference with north Patagonia Andean vegetation, many Mulinum species are not here, and there are a lot of sub Antarctic species.
Source: Los Glaciares National Park
References: 1. Perez Moreau (1960 y 1962) , Hauman (1920), Pisano Valdes y Dimitri (1973); 2. Perez Moreau (1960)