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Nertera granadensis


Coralito, Rucachucao, Quelligüenchucaou
Coral bead plant, pin-cushion plant, or bead plant
Family: Rubiaceae
Is a ground cover or vine with red to orange berries.
It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, and the name given to the plant in Mapudungun and Chilean Spanish is rucachucao. The name granadensis derives from New Granada, the old name of Colombia.
The plant possesses brightly-colored fruit, and likely offers visual appeal to young children and pets. Fortunately, the toxicity of Nertera granadensis appears to be quite low, and there are no known toxins associated with the particular parts of the plant. One study noted that of 21 children known to have ingested the plant, only five showed mild symptoms associated with poisoning, such as tiredness, stomach pains, and vomiting. In addition, a 2-1/2-year-old child ingested 20 of the Nertera granadensis berries with no visible ill effects.
The native name ruca-chucao means Chucao's house, the chucao being a small bird found on deep forests (Scelorchilus rubecula) .
El Rucachucao (Nertera granadensis) es una planta herbácea epífita o rastrera, con más de 1m de longitud, ramas cortas, hojas ovado-redondas, de hasta 1,3 cm de largo, ápice ampliamente deltoide, base subcordada a truncada, peciolo de cerca de 1 cm de largo.
Las flores del Rucachucao son solitarias, cuyo cáliz forma una copa corta, y presenta una corola amarillo-verdosa o amarillo pálida, con tubo infundibuliforme, con 4 lóbulos. Cada flor presenta 4 estambres y 2 estigmas. El fruto del Rucachucao (Nertera granadensis) es sésil, de forma oblonga a redonda, de un tamaño de hasta 2,5 mm, de color escarlata en la madurez, en su interior con dos nueces cartilaginosas.
A pesar de ser considerada venenosa, no se han registrado casos de envenenamiento grave, más allá de malestar estomacal.
Su nombre local mapuche, cuca-chucao significa casa de chucao, el chucao es un ave comunmente encontrada en lo profundo de los bosques (Scelorchilus rubecula).


Nertera granadensis has an unusually extensive transcontinental distribution surrounding the Pacific Ocean, occurring from southern Chile and western Argentina north to Guatemala, and in New Zealand, eastern Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Taiwan. In the tropical regions of the western Pacific, Nertera granadensis only occurs at high altitudes. It does also occur on the Juan Fernández Islands.

Presenta una inusual extensión transcontinental alrededor del Océano Pacífico. Se distribuye desde el sur de Chile y el oeste de Argentina hasta Guatemala, Nueva Zelanda, Australia, Indonesia, Malasia, Papúa Nueva Guinea, Filipinas y Taiwán.


Should have way better pictures, it's a fairly common plant, next trip there will surely make time to take proper pictures.

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Lago Ranco, XIV Región de Los Ríos, Chile

Spotted on Feb 6, 2012
Submitted on May 20, 2012

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