Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cyclopogon elatus (Sw.) Schltr. 1919, a native orchid in a shaded ravine in the Rio Abajo forest

Today I visited a shaded ravine deep inside the Rio Abajo forest, near the center of the island of Puerto Rico.  This plant was growing near a tiny creek that flowed between the haystack hills.  I almost missed seeing it due to its small stature and dull colored flowers.  But because it was early morning, sun rays were coming at an angle and one of them hit the inflorescence and made it stand out from the rest of the vegetation.  The area has very tall trees which means the forest floor is quite gloomy.  There is a population of manaca palms, Calyptronoma rivalis in the place.  The palms are still young, they were planted there by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources.  The place had many interesting plants but I was there only briefly and barely had time to see a small patch of the ravine.  The place is quite safe from visitors as it can only be reached after an strenuous walk through rugged terrain.

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