Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hechtia on the rocks

Most species of Hechtia specialize in growing in the toughest, driest ecological niches as they can.  By growing in places like this the plants minimize the potential competition with other plants.  If nothing else can grow there, there is no way for something to either crowd them out or shade them out. Usually this means that they grow in the desert, in broken rock faces, or loose rocky soil.

This species is a bit different. These plants were growing on boulders and the faces of solid rock! No cracks where the roots could search down deep for water hidden far under the rocks.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tillandsia rothii

Tillandsia rothii
Tillandsia rothii blooming in habitat in Jalisco
Tillandsia rothii is another classic plant from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. It is a species that is distributed throughout the lowland thorn forest on the west coast of Mexico.  Although primarily found in Jalisco it is also reported to extend into Colima and maybe even into Michoacan. 

The leaves curl down and make a spherical mass with the inflorescence extending up with fat, inflated paddles that transitions from the bright red to equally bright yellow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hechtia podantha - Cadereyta, Queretaro

Hechtia podantha habitat
Hechtia podantha growing in lichen covered rocks in Queretaro, MX
Hechtia podantha is a widespread and variable species and is in the 'podantha complex'.  Recently there has been a more thorough study of the species of the complex in the states of Oaxaca and Puebla, but the plants found throughout some of the states to the north (in particular the states of Hidalgo and Queretaro) have many plants that probably need a closer look.

Here are some Hechtia podantha from another part of the state of Queretaro, Mexico that help show the variation even within relatively close populations.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Raicilla, Vallarta's Spirits

Raicilla varieties of different ages and some flavored liqueur.
We are all familiar with Mexico's most famous spirits, tequila. The heart of tequila production and home of the town Tequila, the state of Jalisco is one of the few designated states included in the tequila region. Just like Champagne and Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) which are regulated with restricted regions allowed to create a product with that name, tequila is very closely controlled.