Qantuta, Cantua buxifolia

Cantua buxifolia is a flowering plant species. The species may also be commonly referred to Qantu, Qantus or Qantuta or Magic-flower, Magic flower of the Incas, Magic tree and Sacred-flower-of-the-Incas. The plant is a member of the Polemoniaceae family. C. buxifolia can be found in Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina, specifically in the Yungas.

This evergreen shrub species grows approximately 4-6 feet tall. Its small leaves have a gray or green coloration. The plant blooms in late spring and its flowers may vary greatly. Beautiful pink, white or yellow flowers are bell or trumpet-shaped and drape, hanging off its bare stems and branches.

C. buxifolia grows best in warm climates. It is found in rainy and humid habitats. The species is found growing naturally in the forest regions along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains. The plant grows in moist, well-drained fertile soil.

Image Caption: Qantuta (Cantua buxifolia). Credit: Ghislain Cottat/Wikipedia (GNUL version 1.2)