Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Vanda Boschii (Vanda luzonica x Vanda tricolor)

Photographed near the town of Lares, in Puerto Rico.  The climate in the central mountainous part of the island of Puerto Rico is well suited for the cultivation of these orchids due to the high local humidity frequent rains and moderate temperatures.

A puertorican parrot displaying to others of its flock.

Sometimes the puertorican parrots will open partially open their wings when they are displaying to other birds.  My guess is that they do so to make themselves look bigger.  This wing opening is often accompanied with bowing, and a side to side motion.  This particular bird was displaying in front of two other birds who were licking the sap that oozed from a broken banana leave.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

When resting among the foliage, the green color of the puerto rican parrot, Amazona vittata, serves as a great camouflage

The puerto rican parrot is one of the Amazons with the the least color aside from green.  When resting or hiding among the vegetation it is very hard to see.  These two parrots were photographed just after sun down.  As you can see by the retracted foot inside the plumage of the left parrots, it is quite at home and relaxed in the tree stump.  The left parrot vocalizing loudly, something they do at sundown and at sunrise.  The bird to the left has a radio transmitter.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Vanda suavis Lindl. 1848,

This plant was grown in Lares, Puerto Rico.  It is grown with plenty of humidity and it gets full sun for some hours a day.  An stunning example of the species more commonly known as Vanda tricolor var. suavis

Scuticaria salesiana Dressler 1968

Photographed at the March 2019 Puerto Rico orchid society show.

Cadetia taylori [F. Mueller]Schlechter 1912, considered a Dendrobium

This plant was photographed in March 2019, at the 70 annual show of the Puerto Rico orchid society.

Dendrophylax funalis [Sw.]Fawcett 1889, in the 70 Puerto Rico orchid society show in March 2019

It is rare to see leafless orchids displayed at local orchid shows.  This was a rare treat.  This plant needs high humidity environmental, as well as conscientious care to do well.   

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Coryanthes macrantha [Hooker]Hooker 1831, an orchid with an amazingly complex structure.

The flowers of Coryanthes are some of the most complex and fascinating in the world.  The flowers have an inner pool, scent secreting surfaces and glands that secrete liquid to fill the pool.  A full description of the flowers is beyond the scope of this post but I recommend highly reading about the natural history of these amazing orchids.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Sacoila lanceolata (Aubl.) Garay 1982, for many year this plant eluded me, I found it at a roadside. I expected the flowers to be red, but the flowers I found were orange

Sacoila lanceolata is a terrestrial orchid that is widespread in the Antilles and tropical America.  In the photos I have seen of the species, the flowers are bright red.  But the population I saw in the west of the island of Puerto Rico, is pale orange.  Apparently there are also yellow ones, but I have not seen them only heard about them.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dendrobium trantuanii Perner & Dang 2003, blooms in 2019

A lovely plant that survived an extensive period of neglect after hurricane Maria passed over my home. 

Spiranthes torta (Thunb.)Garay & H.R.Sweet, I photographed this little plant in a grassy area in the town of Lares, Puerto Rico

I saw this plant in a grassy area in the town of Moca.  The plants are small and easily missed among the grass.  I had to get into my belly to be able to take a close up of the flowers.   It is native of Puerto Rico and many other places.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Psychilis macconnelliae Sauleda (1988), a plant with a pure white lip that is not an alba form, from St. Croix Virgin Islands

One of the defining characteristics of Psy. macconnelliae is its large pink lip.  This particular plant is notable for having a pure white lip.   The plant is not an alba form since you can see it can produce pink pigments by the color of the column of the flower.  It is from the island of St. Croix, where there are large populations of this orchid growing near the seaside.  Generally, in Psychilis species one can see a degree of intraspecific variation in color of the flowers.  But the only other plants with a pure white lip I have seen are the alba forms of Psy, krugii.   For a view of the usual color of the flowers of Psy. macconelliae, use the following link:  https://ricardogupi.blogspot.com/2013/08/psychilis-macconnelliae-from-st-croix.html

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Male Puerto Rican parrot displaying to two apparently indifferent females

In the Rio Abajo forest in Arecibo I was able to observe a male Puerto Rican parrot cupping his wings and moving his body from side to side on a bare branch a few feet from two females.  The male is making himself seem larger and he is moving in a way that presumably is particularly sensual and attractive.  The two females were liking the sap that was oozing from the raquis of a banana leaf.  The females had broken the raquis to gain access to the sap.  It seems the dance was a success, eventually the male left and the females followed him.

En el bosque de Rio Abajo, Arecibo, pude observar un macho de cotorra de Puerto Rico abriendo parcialmente sus alas y moviendo su cuerpo de lado a lado en una rama a algunos pies de dos hembras.  El macho esta haciendo su cuerpo mas grande y moviéndose en lo que presumimos que es una forma especialmente sensual y atractiva.  Las dos hembras, se encontraban lamiendo la savia que manaba del raquis de una hoja de guineo que habían partido adrede para tener acceso a la savia.  Al parecer la danza fue exitosa, cuando el macho se fue, las hembras lo siguieron.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Bletia patula Graham 1836 a flower without any trace of pigmentation

Alba forms of Bletia patula are very rare in Puerto Rico.  For many years no local plants that are pure white were seen.  There was a single clone, cultivated in Mayaguez that was awarded by the American Orchid Society.  This plant was photographed "in situ" in a swampy area in the northern karst region.  It is part of a very tiny population.  Most of the flowers were grievously damaged either by insects or some kind of fungal or bacteria spotting of the pure white floral segments.