Travel in Latin America
Uruguay is a tiny South American country bordered by Argentina on one side and Brazil on the other. Slightly bigger than the state of Florida, the country consists of flowing grasslands called the pampas and two main ranges of interior hills, the Cuchilla de Haedo and the Cuchilla Grande. These forested areas give way in the east to groupings of palm savannas along the border with Brazil.
The national flower of Uruguay is the Erythrina cristina galli, commonly known as the ceibo. It flowers on a tree that grows only in South America. The buds are an extremely bright red. The tree grows in the wild along water courses and in swamps. In Uruguay's cities, it is planted in many urban parks. Near the border with Brazil, the flower is sometimes referred to as the corticeira.
Rosemary, a perennial herb, grows wild in many parts of Uruguay. It is a shrub that produces a woody smelling series of spines that are popular in cooking. Rosemary shows up with frequency in Uruguayan dishes including nochi. It also produces off-white flowers. The plant thrives in Uruguay because most of the country is coastline, and the plant loves the salt air. Rosemary's name comes from the Latin Rosmarinus, which combines the Latin words for "dew" and "sea."
This flowering plant is a common sight in the pampas of Uruguay. Usually the flower has five petals and comes in a variety of colors. The type of myrtle called Tepualia is frequently seen in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. It looks like a small shrub and produces a fragrant essential oil.
The beautiful purple-flowered mimosa plant also grows in Uruguay. Cultivated elsewhere for use as an attractive houseplant, here the mimosa grows in the wild. Mimosa pudica is the scientific name for this plant, which grows all over Latin America, all the way up to Mexico.
The splashes of purple and blue on the Uruguayan pampas are plants called verbenas. When they flower together in the spring, they completely change the Uruguayan landscape. They usually have five petals and are a series of densely packed spikes. They are usually blue, but some are specially cultivated to be white or pink.