The artwork consists of 81 plates of high quality watercolour paintings that measure A3 size. Each painting accurately depicts dissections of flowers and fruits.

You can sponsor one of the paintings featured on this page while supporting Chilean plant conservation and the work of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. You can find out more by contacting Martin Gardner.

Drimys andina - ‘Canelo enano’

Painted by: Gülnur Ekşi

The genus Drimys is endemic to the Americas and comprises five species which have a geographical range extending from Mexico through to Tierra del Fuego. Drimys andina was first described as a new species in 1893 by the German botanist Karl Friedrich Reiche who worked at the National Museum of Natural History in Santiago de Chile from 1896 to 1911. It is one of three species native to Chile and closely related to the more geographically widespread Drimys winteri in which it is sometimes included as a variety. The only other species native to Chile is Drimys confertifolia, which is endemic to the Juan Fernández Islands.

Drimys andina has an altitudinal range of between 600 and 1500 metres and forms an under-shrub in the forested mountains of southern Chile and along a small section of the neighbouring Argentinean Andes. In its only coastal Chilean location, in Parque Nacional Nahuelbuta, it is co-dominant in dense Araucaria forest with other shrubs such as Desfontainia spinosa, Raukaua laetivirens and the bamboo Chusquea culeou. In the northern part of its Andean range it is often associated with Araucaria but further south it is frequently associated with Nothofagus dombeyi and N. pumilio. In its most southerly locations in the National Parks of Alerce Andino and Hornopirén it grows with Fitzroya cupressoides.

In 1557 Captain John Winter, commander of Captain Drake's voyage through the Straits of Magellan, discovered from the local people that the aromatic bark is an effective treatment for scurvy and a tea made from it is said to be a good cure for stomach ailments. In cultivation it is confined to specialist collections. Recent introductions from the Chilean Andes and the coastal mountains have proved to grow well in the very acidic soils in Benmore Botanic Garden on the west coast of Scotland.