A 5600 Kms TOUR IN MEXICO

 

(By Oliver Gluch, August/September 2009

 

Part 10 : From Oaxaca de Juarez to P. laueana...

 

We spent a nice "tourist day" in Oaxaca de Juarez (great evening dinner in a historical restaurant with chili grasshoppers and quite some cucaracha drinks). The center is really worth visiting with all the historical colonial buildings. Oaxaca is also the chocolate capital of Mexico, so you find a lot of chocolate manufacters where you can taste a lot of different chocolate types (very different compared to European chocolate).

Cathedral of Oaxaca.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

Hans and Peter in a nice restaurant in Oaxaca with typical Mexican music.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

Grasshoppers and Guacamole.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

The next morning we were heading towards the site of P. laueana. Direction Mitla, there were a lot of road constructions going on, as they were currently building a "super carretera" through the Sierra Mixe and down to the Pacific coast close to the city of Tehuantepec. We barely found the old road which first would lead us to a site of P. heterophylla we have seen in May 2005 as well. When we arrived there on a sunny morning, nothing had changed during the last 4 years. The plants were still growing in an oak pine tree forest on a quite steep west facing hillside. It was a loamy soil where the plants were growing in. Now in September the plants had formed its summer leaves (as in May the plants were in full flower). The largest plants had summer leaves longer than 20 cm. Interestingly, also at this site roughly 10-15% of the plants were showing small plantlets at the tip of the leaves. Along the site there were also quite some other interesting plants, like terrestrial orchids (one tiny green one had flowers that were barely 1 cm in diameter) and cacti (some growing on a yucca tree) and we found another Pinguicula there, yes of course, P. moranensis again.

 

Cactus growing on Yucca tree !.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

Pinguicula heterophylla, group of plants.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

A plantlet on Pinguicula heterophylla. Roughly 10-15% of the plants were showing small plantlets at the tip of the leaves. Not a unique feature of P. medusina...

Photo : O. Gluch 

Pinguicula heterophylla, single plant.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

Terrestial orchid at P. heterophylla site.

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

More on P. heterophylla can be read (among other articles here) :

Pinguicula heterophylla, species 's page

Barefoot boys mexican trip N12

Postcards N5; N12 and N20  from Mexico from Fernando Rivadavia

 

More on P. medusina can be read (among other articles here) :

Pinguicula medusina, species 's page

Barefoot boys mexican trip N5

Postcards N5 from Mexico from Fernando Rivadavia

 

 

We continued our way into the Sierra Mixe until we came to the village of San Pablo Ayutla. The area was as poor as 4 years ago, typical Indian village in the mountains with not many options for finding work. At about 2400 m altitude we came to the area, where P. laueana was growing. The area has a lot of steep calcerous cliffs, but only on a very few you can find P. laueana. Unfortunately it was not the right time to see them in flower, but it was also impressing seeing this species with its dark red summer leaves.

The plants often were growing only in algae and some moss. It rains quite a lot in this area (you can see numerous waterfalls running down into the valley) and the area is many times in clouds (as it was also in May 2005 during the dry season). On this day it was raining from time to time (not ideal for taking pictures).

 

 

Area of Pinguicula laueana site.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

Waterfall at Pinguicula laueana site.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

Pinguicula laueana, group of plants.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

Pinguicula laueana, group of plants growing only in algae and some moss.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

Begonia at Pinguicula laueana site.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

More on P. laueana can be read (among other articles here) :

Pinguicula laueana, species 's page

Barefoot boys mexican trip N9

Postcards N5 from Mexico from Fernando Rivadavia

 

Along the road we have seen 2 more sites where Pinguicula were growing, one was for sure P. laueana, the second one could have been also P. moranensis, but hard to identify as only one plant was showing a flower bud, but no developped spur was there already.

 

 

Probably Pinguicula moranensis in P. laueana site.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

Probably Pinguicula moranensis in P. laueana site.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

Initially we wanted to explore more the area around Santiago Atitlan, as Alfred Lau once indicated having seen another Pinguicula there, but as it was raining quite heavily, we stopped driving further into the mountains and drove back to Oaxaca and continued our way towards Tehuacan, as we wanted to find the type location of P. mirandae the next day.

But more about it in the next postcard.

    Oliver Gluch