Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sphatoglottis plicata, a weedy invasive orchid, near Mt. Britton, El Yunque, Puerto Rico

I found this orchid blooming on the roadside near Mt. Britton in el Yunque forest.  Unlike Spathoglottis populations at lower altitudes, plants were widely scattered and seemed confined to disturbed areas.  No white flowered plants were seen.  The plant whose flower I photographed had several developing seed capsules.  I recall finding Eulophia plants in this spot in the early nineties, I have visited the area several times in the last few years and have never found them.  Of all the terrestrial orchids in this part of the forest, Spathoglottis is the most conspicuous due to its brightly colored flowers.  No evidence of damage to the flowers by beetles was seen in the plants near Mt. Britton.

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