A 5600 Kms TOUR IN MEXICO

 

(By Oliver Gluch, August/September 2009

 

Part 9 : From Laguna Encantada to Santiago Nuyoo pass...

 

Next morning we drove to the nearby site of P. medusina at the Laguna Encantada. People were picknicking everywhere and were looking at us what we were doing on that gypsum hill. As it was raining the last day, the gypsum soil and rock was very slippery. It was almost impossible not to find P.medusina, as the whole hill was full of them. The vegetation there was a little different from the gypsum site we saw yesterday. The typical vegetation was a palm tree species, an acacia like tree, Agave, Begonia, Selaginella and grasses (and of course P. medusina). Only a single plant was in flower, but flowering period seemed to be over already for a while as there were even no seed capsules visible anymore. Compared to P.heterophylla the outermost leaves were growing first more flat before they turned upwards. Perhaps this is the plants strategy to get the plantlets developping at the tips of the leaves further away from the mother plants.

It was also interesting to see that not all plants were forming the typical plantlets at the end of the leaves. I would say that less than 50% of all plants were doing this. The coloration of the plants were mostly redish, but there were also plants showing a more greener leaf colour. As I mentioned in a former postcard, I am not sure if P. medusina is really a good species.

The striking fact compared to P. heterophylla is the real different habitat.

Begonia.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

P. medusina, green plant.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

P. medusina, group of plants.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

P. medusina, group of red plants.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

The plantlets at the leaf tip of Pinguicula medusina.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

More on this species can be read (among other articles here) :

Pinguicula medusina, species 's page

Barefoot boys mexican trip N░5

Postcards N░5 from Mexico from Fernando Rivadavia

We then continued the road direction Putla de Guerrero. Along this road we found a very nice place of a P. moranensis population. The plants were growing on a vertical, probably calcerous cliff facing north to west. The population was in full flower. The plants had a very nice colouration, ranging from magenta to dark violett, but quite a number of plants flowers with some red parts in. Also the leaf colour ranged from redish to green.

An habitat of Pinguicula moranensis : a vertical cliff facing north to west.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

Pinguicula moranensis in habitat : the leaf colour ranged from redish to green.

 

Photo : O. Gluch

 

 

Pinguicula moranensis flower.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

Pinguicula moranensis flower.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

Pinguicula moranensis unriped seed capsule.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

 

Next species on the plan was P. conzattii. Our map was showing us a shorter way to Santa Maria Yucuhiti from the west and according to the map it should be paved. Well, don't trust always Mexican maps, as it turned out that it was a horribly bad road. In addtion it was wet, so for the less than 20 km it took us about 2 hours to get to Santa Maria Yucihiti. The small road was winding up endless and of course there were almost never any sign indicating the correct direction when roads were splitting. Good, that from time to time we entered small Indian villages where we could ask if we were still on track. You had to pray not getting any flat tyre or a car problem, as the chance to find a lot of people who could help you there was pretty low. The mountain area was very impressive, very steep calcerous cliffs with cloud forest. Finally we arrived in Santa Maria Yucuhiti, a very poor place in the middle of nowhere with almost no drivable streets. We continued to Santiago Nuyoˇ, another miserable village just 500 m further down. Then we had to drive again up the mountain to get to the so called Santiago Nuyoˇ pass.

Santa Maria Yucuhiti and Santiago Nuyoˇ, in the middle of nowhere.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

Along that road was the type location Zamudio mentioned in his publication.

With the excellent Google Earth map printout of Hans and the really precise altitude information from the publication we found the site along the road at 2400 m. Unfortunately it began to rain again and the plants were really high up the cliff, but no doubt, it was P. conzattii. And what surprise, some of the plants were in flower! It was known that P. conzattii flowers out of the winter rosette, but it looked like that flowers were formed also out of the summer rosettes. We continued up the mountain as we wanted to see the site that Fernando has found some years ago. When we entered the village (no signs were indicating any name), we drove through the village but had not found any place which looked like a cliff. We returned and stopped at the beginning of the village. On the photo of Fernando and Ed Read there were the 2 villages Santa Maria Yucihiti and Santiago Nuyoˇ visible in the back, but it was cloudy, so that no village could be seen. We walked a little further down the hill on a path, but nothing. When we returned to the car, there was a cliff on the left side. Peter was walking down a little and finally found a colony of P. conzattii. The way down there was not only quite steep and wet, but also not to nice as the locals turned it into a trash damp. Along the cliff there was a small colony of plants, but 3 of them were in flower also! The rosettes were quite big, some of them reached 15 cm in diameter. It seemed that the flowering period were just starting.

Pinguicula conzattii, type location.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

A small colony of Pinguicula conzattii in habitat.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

Pinguicula conzattii flowering in habitat. The rosettes were quite big, some of them reached 15 cm in diameter.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

First Summer leaves of Pinguicula conzattii.

 

Photo : O. Gluch 

 

More on this species can be read (among other articles here) :

Pinguicula conzattii, species 's page

Barefoot boys mexican trip N░6

Postcards N░7 from Mexico from Fernando Rivadavia

 

Lucky to see this very nice species so close, we continued the road down towards Santa Maria Tlaxiaco. We expected again a long trip on a small winding stoney road, but what surprise, after some kilometers the road got paved! The road was brandnew, sometimes only one side was already asphalted, but what a good feeling driving on a "normal" road again. We continued our way towards Oaxaca City, where we stayed the night and spent one "tourist day", before we wanted to see the P. laueana site.

More about it in the next postcard.

 

Oliver Gluch