POSTCARD from Mexico N2

 

(By Fernando Rivadavia, November 1st-2nd, 2003

 

Dear Ping friends,

 

 Last weekend I went to Patzcuaro, Michoacan state, to meet THE man, Zamudio himself! We spent several hours together talking about Pings, he was extremely nice. He showed me live plants, herborized specimens, pictures, papers, posters, his PhD thesis, etc. Below is a picture of Zamudio and me.

 

Sergio Zamudio and Fernando Rivadavia

 

Photo : Fernando Rivadavia

- October 2003 -

 

After Patzcuaro, I went to Guanajuato to look for P.macrophylla. Now that I am organizing extra info I obtained from Zamudio's thesis and herbarium specimens, I see that all around Patzcuaro there are numerous collections of P.crenatiloba and especially P.oblongiloba. I could've spend a while searching out the area, if only I'd known...

 

Anyways, there were numerous collections of P.macrophylla from a road heading E out of Guanajuato to Dolores Hidalgo and I thought this would be a sure place to see this species. And I was right! I found lots of it growing on more or less inclined forest floors on hillsides next to the road. The plants were rather spread out and they all had well-formed winter buds buried deep in the humid reddish dirt. Most plants had only 1-2 leaves which looked rather old and yellowish, another month and I guess I wouldn't see a single plant above ground. See pics below...

 

 

The habitat of Pinguicula macrophylla : on more or less inclined forest floors on hillsides next to the road.

 

Photo : Fernando Rivadavia

- November 2003 -

 

Pinguicula macrophylla : late summer leaves. The plants were rather spread out and they all had well-formed winter buds buried deep in the humid reddish dirt.

 

Photo : Fernando Rivadavia

- November 2003 -

Pinguicula macrophylla : winter leaves and summer leaves !

 

Photo : Fernando Rivadavia

- November 2003 -

Pinguicula macrophylla : winter rosette. Note the humid reddish dirt rich in organic material.

 

Photo : Fernando Rivadavia

- November 2003 -

More on the specific page : Pinguicula macrophylla

 

From Guanajuato I headed SE to Queretaro, San Juan del Rio, and took a road that goes to Pachuca, just N of Mexico City. From this road I took a detour to the N, to Zimapan. I wanted to try and find P.elizabethiae again, this time on the opposite side of the Moctezuma River, in Hidalgo state. I had little hopes of finding P.moctezumae, as I'd been told the site is rather far from the road and one needs to hike for several hours. There was also a collection of P.agnata from this area, which once again surprised me with the overall dryness. I still have trouble believing that desert holds any Pinguicula at all, especially since I did not see any Pinguicula in the region again. I guess I'll need some help from "professionals" to locate Pinguicula in the Moctezuma canyon. P.elizabethiae is probably already completely dormant, but P.moctezumae apparently doesn't usually go dormant and can be found in flower year-round. So I am planning a trip to see P.moctezumae with a friend, maybe later on in the dry season when all the winter-bud forming species are dormant and there are not many species to see.

 

Heading S again, there was still hope of seeing a site of P.esseriana N of Actopan, but it was an old collection and in the supposed area where the plants grew I found a small town. So I'm not sure if a village had sprung up at the site over the years or if I was at the wrong place. Either way, I did not see anything along the road which looked like the P.esseriana site I explored unsuccessfully at El Tepozan the previous weekend (which I plan to return to in March or so, in hopes of catching plants in flower).

 

Once in Pachuca, I thought I'd drive quickly up to El Chico to check out the P.crassifolia, P.moranensis, and P.acuminata we saw there over a month ago. But unfortunately I could not find the road that led up the mountains, although I criss-crossed Pachuca. And since it was late in the afternoon, I decided to simply go home. Good thing I did, because once again I got really heavy traffic into Mexico City, just like the weekend before. It seems like I will have to get used to this when returning Sunday afternoons/ nights, independent of which route I choose to take into Mexico City...

 

Take Care,

 

Fernando Rivadavia