Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cranichis muscosa Sw. 1788, one of the first orchids blooming in the Rio Abajo forest, Puerto Rico, after hurricane Maria.

I found this orchid in a roadside.  The leaves had its sides sunburned and the plant was small for the species.  It escaped being buried in a mass of fallen bamboo stems.  It is growing on the side of a road cut, a drier place than where I am used to find them.  When I saw it I was happy that some plants survived.  The loss of the canopy due to the hurricane winds was a disaster for the plants used to grow on the shade of the forest understory, many burned to a crisp and died.  The reduced humidity in the weeks after the hurricane also was an issue.  Many plants were smothered by the massive leaf fall and the numerous large branches that were thrown violently to the forest floor.

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