Monday, March 28, 2016



Good day everyone! How is everything where you reside? Here in North America spring is making an impact in the cold winter days. Tulips, irises, and leaves on the trees are all peeking out. I am looking forward to hiking in the woods when once again I can walk under majestic trees who’s canopy is solid from tree to tree giving me exquisite thick
shade. But even the tropical rainforest who are known for their thick canopy can be penetrated from above. Every so often you hear of a plane that has crashed in these jungles. Often it is difficult if not impossible to find the airplane (at least right away) due to the canopy cover. However, when the crash site is finally located, the plane—or parts of it—have  usually made it all the way to
the ground. 

There is one forest, however, that is so thick that nothing can crash through it. But you won’t find any downed airplanes nestled in the canopy. This jungle may be very dense, but it grows only a few inches in height making a covering over rocks. This “flora is a type of cushion plant known as Azorella compacta, also called “llareta” in Spanish. ‘The compacta is really key,’ says Cathy Kleier, an associate professor of biology at Regis University who’s done three studies on the species in Chile’s Lauca National Park. ‘[It] really describes the plant—compact. The plant’s canopy
is made up of thousands of really small, little rosettes [leaves] that are at the end of the stem, and they are compacted
together so tightly that you could sit on this plant and not fall through the canopy.’

‘You can jump up and down on it; nothing happens,’ adds Philip Rundel, a distinguished professor of biology at UCLA. ‘It grows and branches and ramifies and makes this really dense surface.”1

If you think “cauliflower” this gives you a pretty good idea what the plant is like. Llareta grows in extremely high elevations; 10,000 to 17,000 feet. At those altitudes, freezing cold is a common factor. “One reason it survives so well is its extraordinary dense growth. Llareta’s surface is so crowded with tiny leaves, and its stems are so densely packed, that a person can stand on a plant without breaking it. That density holds in the heat during
subzero nights.”2 

“Llaretas tend to grow low to the ground, near and over rocks. They’re attracted to the heat that the rocks absorb during the day and retain through nighttime, says Kleier…One of the highest growing plant species in the world, the llareta generally takes root in the tropical alpine areas of Chile, Bolivia, and Peru at elevations of 14,000 to upwards of 17,000 feet, where there’s a lot of direct sunlight and solar radiation during the day, but near freezing temperatures at night, says Kleier. She found one living above 17,200 feet, ‘but I suspect that they are higher than that,’ she says. Llaretas could also be among the oldest living plants in the world. While scientists haven’t carbon-dated them yet, one 1978 study estimated the age of a sample of plants at 850 years to 3,000 for bigger ones.”3

What an amazing plant! Once again God’s fingerprint (and His creativeness) shines brightly. Evolutionists would like to take claim of this one, but unless the DNA was programed from the beginning to allow this plant to diversify and survive in such an extreme climate, it couldn’t have had the genetic information for survival of the fittest (remember mutations, with one exception, are always detrimental to the organism in which the mutation has taken place. It is a loss or rearrangement of DNA [see prior blog on mutations]). Who would have thought to have such bright and beautifully colored vegetation at such high elevations? God did that’s who!

Until next week, take care and God bless. 
Willow Dressel


2Answers Magazine, Vol. 11 No. 2 April-June 2016, Answers in Genesis, p 27.

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