Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ursulaea tuitensis, a Curious Succulent Bromeliad

Ursulaea tuitensis covering a boulder.

Ursulaea tuitensis

When traveling through the pine-oak forests of Jalisco, Mexico you might stumble upon boulders covered with some interesting and unique plants.  It isn't on just any boulder that you will find these plants, but only on very specific boulders in just the right spot.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Icon of Vallarta - Tillandsia jalisco-monticola

Tillandsia jalisco-monticola

When driving through the mountains of Puerto Vallarta and notice a blooming bromeliad it will almost certainly be Tillandsia jalisco-monticola. It can be quite a large plant and when in full bloom will definitely catch your eye. The bright reds and yellows are why the local residents call it 'gallito', or rooster. An appropriate name for such a flamboyant plant perched up in the trees!

The scientific name is also quite appropriate. The specific epithet, 'jalisco-monticola', refers to the fact that the plant is only found growing in the mountains in the state of Jalisco.  But the only mountains in Jalisco that these plants grow is south of the city of Puerto Vallarta around the town of El Tuito.  Although they do range down to a slightly lower elevation as well, primarily they are found in the pine-oak forests.  They can grow to be quite sizable plants.  Most of the time they will have 2-3 branches or 'paddles' on a single plant, but sometimes they will have a single spike or even up to 4 and 5 paddles.

See more pictures and read more after the link...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Road Less Traveled...

Adventures in Mexico or anywhere are endeavors that sometimes require taking the road less traveled. The fun of going through the exercise of taking a small step out of your comfort zone on these roads is that you not only discover something new by going somewhere new, but sometime also finding out more about yourself.  Oftentimes worrying about what is just around the bend prevents you from enjoying the world.  Typically when reflecting back after such experiences you realize what you would have missed if you had not tested yourself and gone on to explore!