May Meeting Speaker: Stefan Burger

Join us Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 pm PST

Stefan Burger is an Australian naturalist and environmental consultant living in Chile. He has an academic background in Applied Sciences and developed a fascination for cacti and other exotic plants from a young age. He now facilitates habitat tours in South America, works in conservation and independently researches cacti and desert ecology.


Presentation Topics:

The Underground Cacti of Chile

Learn about a world of geophytic cacti that have evolved and adapted to one of the most extreme habitats on the planet – the Atacama Fog Desert. This talk discusses members of the genera Copiapoa and Eriosyce that can be classified as geophytes, that is, they have evolved substantial underground storage organs in the form of retractile taproots where they accumulate water and nutrients to help them survive multi-annual droughts. These cacti are often very small in habitat and difficult to find – they are highly cryptic in nature and most plants live at or below ground level and can be almost impossible to see unless they are in flower. Join us on a journey from the city of La Serena to Antofagasta in search of these fascinating cacti. *Bonus segment on Chilean Dioscorea and Euphorbia. 

Copiapoa 2022

Copiapoa are endemic to northern Chile and live in one of the country’s most intriguing habitats – the Atacama fog desert. This talk includes in depth discussions about Copiapoa ecology, taxonomy and conservation. Our journey begins in Chile’s Valparaiso Region and takes us all the way north to the edge of the world’s driest non-polar desert – the Atacama.

The Chilean Altiplano

Take the high road into the Andes and discover otherworldly plants and landscapes. The Altiplano translates to “High Pain” in Spanish and is the world’s second largest area of high mountain plateau after Tibet. Altiplano territory spans across parts of Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, but a small – and arguably more intriguing – section is located in Chile, where the fascinating topography is home to a diversity of cacti, including Oreocereus, Browningia, Neowerdermannia, Haageocereus and Corryocactus species, as well as other alpine wonders such as Azorella compacta.

Stefan Burger’s website and tour details: www.cactusexplorer.com

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