Meet Yareta, A Plant That’s 3000 Years Old!

©Atlas of Wonders

You may have seen and read about a lot of plants in your life, but have you ever seen or heard of a plant that’s 3000 years old? If you haven’t, it is time for you to know about Yareta, a plant that’s 3000 years old now and is still ‘living.’

©Pedro Szekely/flickr
© Pedro Szekely/flickr

When you look at this plant, you may feel like you are looking at some rocks covered with moss, but they’re not rocks. They are found on the Andes highlands and they appear quite unique than the rest of the plants around the globe. These ‘rock-like’ things are nothing but plants.

©Atlas of Wonders
© Atlas of Wonders
© Atlas of Wonders


Yareta is a flowing plant found in colonies that are thousands of years old. In Spanish, this plant is known as ‘Llareta.’ The plant is also known as Azorella Compacta. It is a flowering plant, belonging to Apiaceae family. It is found in Puna grasslands of Andes, Peru, Bolivia, Northern Chile. It is also found in the western Argentina, where the altitudes are between 32000 and 4500 meters. The wind blows mercilessly in this location and the chilliness here has the capacity to crack granite; how does this sound?

© Lon&Queta/flickr
© Lon&Queta/flickr
© Lon&Queta/flickr

Yareta and Its Existence:

It is not an easy thing to survive in such extreme conditions. Not a lot of plants and trees can survive in such a condition, but Yareta grows fearlessly here. It grows in packs that are dense; the stems of this plant are so strong that they can take the weight of humans as well. For the sake of retaining heat, the plant makes sure it keeps close to the ground. It is because of this feature the plant does not get uprooted by the rash wind blowing in this location. To your surprise, Yareta has wax covered leaves!

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