Farther up, on the cold, bleak paramos, only stunted and hardy trees are to be found.
It is claimed in Colombia that a species of wild potato found on the paramos is the parent of the cultivated potato.
The higher plateaus are called paramos, cold, windswept, mist-drenched deserts, lying between the elevations of 10,000 and 15,000 ft., which are often the only passes over the Cordilleras, and yet are almost impassable because of their morasses, heavy mists, and cold, piercing winds.
The paramos of Cruz Verde (11,695 ft.) and Pasto, and the volcanoes of Chiles (15,900 ft.), Chumbul (15,715 ft.), and Pasto ft.) are prominent landmarks of this desolate region.
The Central is the axis of the system, is distinguished by a line of lofty volcanoes and paramos, some of which show their white mantles 2000 to 3000 ft.