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Chile's National Flower

The Copihue


A number of myths surround the origins of the Copihue, or "long sigh" as the Chilean national flower is known. These sotires are nearly all concerned with love, war or bloodshed. One interesting legend imagines a war between the Mapuche and the Spanish, where the warriors were forced to leave their families alone for months on end. As legend goes, when the war moved closer to Mapuche land, the wives of the warriors climbed the highest trees they could find to see if there were any survivors. Confronted only by smoke and death, they climbed down weeping, wetting the leaves as they did so. Magically, a blood flower was born of their tears, which was then kept to remember the many indigenous men who lost their lives.


The Copihue was given legal protection in Chile in 1977. It continues to represent rich cultural histories and stories, and encapsulates the spirit of the Chilean people, both past and present.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Flora and Fauna in Chile, Wildlife: Plants and Animals, Easter Islands wildlife and flora, Magellanic penguins, Flora and Fauna in the Reserva Nacional Lago Palena and Patagonia Species.

By Abigail Foulkes
I`m living in Quito and working for Viva having just enjoyed three months traveling in South America. I love music and play the guitar and flute...
11 May 2009

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