Saturday, May 9, 2015

Habenaria amalfitana F.Lehm. & Kraenzl. 1893 in the elfin forest in El Yunque

I was hiking in the upper reaches of El Yunque national forest, in Puerto Rico in May 4.  The forest was very dry, and the orchids with flowers were few and far between.  I was tired and frustrated when I returned to the parking lot where I had left my car.  I sat on the ground and when I looked around I noticed that on a place where there had been a tiny landslide there were some curious plants.

When I looked closer, I could see about ten plants of this species in various stages of growth, from young seedling to plants bearing seed capsules.  The plants are inconspicuous and very easy to miss,  If the spot where they were growing had been covered with more plants I would have missed them entirely.  In Puerto Rico this orchid is only known from the Luquillo mountains.

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