FloraInteresting facts

The story behind the scientific name Mutisia decurrens, the Patagonian flower

A fun fact about the Patagonian flower Mutisia is that its scientific name, Mutisia decurrens, was given in honor of the Spanish naturalist José Celestino Mutis, who was one of the most important botanists in America in the 18th century. Mutis is known for leading a scientific expedition that lasted more than 40 years in the region of New Granada (now Colombia) and for founding the Royal Botanic Garden of Bogotá. The Mutisia decurrens flower, which grows in the mountainous regions of Patagonia in South America, was discovered and named in honor of Mutis by the Spanish botanist Hipólito Ruiz López.

The legend of the Patagonian Mutisia tells that a warrior named Cuyén was in love with a beautiful woman named Mutisia. But, due to a curse, she was destined to live in the mountains and could never be with him. So, Cuyén asked the gods to turn her into a flower, so that he could always be with her. The gods accepted his request and Mutisia became a bright orange flower, which still grows in the mountains of Patagonia to this day.

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