domingo, 22 de febrero de 2009

Wild Orchids from Puerto Rico (PART III)

Lepanthes woodburyana
The name came to honor Roy Woodbury, Professor Emeritus of the University of Puerto Rico and a knowledgable botanist.
"Prior to 1969, only two species of Lepanthes were known for Puerto Rico. After considerable field and herbarium studies, six more species were aadded by Stimson (1969), all described as new and endemic. One of these was L. woodburyana, which happens to be the most common and widespread Lepanthes on the island."
"Several of the Lepanthes in Puerto Rico have very similar morphologies and differ only by characteristics of the inflorescences and flowers. The largest floral parts of L. woodburyana and related species are the sepals, and they are less than four mm long. L. woodburyana has inflorescences that lie on the underside of the leaves, red and yellow flowers, a red blotch at the base of the dorsal sepal, and a lip with a violin-shaped middle lobe that is nearly impossible to see without magnification."
"They flower throughout the year and are often abundant on shaded rocks and tree trunks."

Spathoglottis plicata
"The specific epithet means "pleated" in Latin and refers to the surface of the leaves."
"This species is native to India, South Asia and the Philippines. It was just recently reported for Puerto Rico but has naturalized in many parts of the tropics."
"A weedy terrestrial orchid that prefers open, usually grassy, disturbed habitats. Populations occur along roadcuts."

"The plicate leaves may reach a meter in length and superficially resemble those of Bletia patula and Eulophia alta. Pink flowers and distinctly slender, trilobed lip separates it from the formers mentioned. S. plicata produces numerous flowers over a long period, but only a few are open at the same time. They self-pollinate and fruit production is prolific."

If you have been with ACAMPA Nature Anventure in the half day tour you may have seen this orchid after the "Mud Trail".

Dichaea hystricina

"The epithet, hystricina, is derived from the Greek word for porcupine and refers to the small fruits, densely covered with soft prickles" (picture below, right).

What distinguish this orchid from all others in Puerto Rico is the tufts of slender stems covered by overlaping and prickly-looking leaves. There are two other species of Dichaea on the Island: D. latifolia Lindley and D. pendula (Aublet) Cogniaux.

"Single flowers emerge primarily in the late summer. Self-pollinaton likely occurs because nearly all flowers develop fruits and the known pollinators of dichaeas, male euglossine bees, do not exist in Puerto Rico."

The best way to encounter this species is on giant clums of introduced baboo along the road that leads to the El Yunque Rain Forest.

"The species also occurs in Cuba, the Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Colombia and Central America."

Wild Orchids from Puerto Rico (PART II)

I'm very sorry to all of the US friends I've met on the tours for not putting the information in english so from now on english is what's going to be on the blog. Hope you enjoy this trip too!!!

The information I'm going to be providing I'm taking from: Ackerman, James D., The Orchids of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. University of Puerto Rico Press, 1992, First ed. Non of the information below is mine unless specified.

  1. This orchid below has me a little confused because on the book mentioned above is named Erythrodes plantaginea but I've seen it been called Michrochilus plantaginaeus... so if you, reading this are an orchid freak like me, help me out here.
  • This species is very well recognized by its pure white flowers which have a very conspicuous, saccate nectar spur about 3 to 5mm long.
  • Bloom in the winter months and produce numerous white flowers.

  • Occurs throughout the West Indies and is one of the most common terrestrial orchid in moist and wet undestroy habitats at middle to high elevations.

  • Found on the rain forests of Puerto Rico.

2. This next orchid below is named Dilomilis montana refering to "the high montane habitat occupied by the species".

  • Terrestrial or epiphytic orchid.

  • Commonly seen at high elevations in the upper Luquillo and Cordillera forests (picture below was taken at Sierra de Luquillo).

  • Thrive in virgin cloud and dwarf forests as well as in disturbed, open areas along trails and roadsides.

  • Bloom in winter months with fragrant white flowers.

3. The next orchid below is named Cranichis muscosa probably refering to the "mossy habitat commonly occupied by it".
  • The plant is confused with a herb.

  • Only obvious in winter months when it produces the small white flowers.

  • The lip of the flower is 4mm long but has distinctive minute green or yellow spots.

  • It is mostly found throughout the island of Puerto Rico.

  • It self-pollinates so very often will find it with fruits.