Orchids forum: Our Orchid Tour with Ecuagenera, Ecuador July 2. to July 15. 2013

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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 12:52 PM CST

Moderator

For many years now we have been buying Orchids from Ecuagenera and for just as many years have we thought about taking one of their interesting Orchid tours offered (nowadays at their website). This year it seemed the timing was perfect for the July tour and we contacted Jose Portillo of Ecuagenera. He assured us that we would be able to take the trip with them, even if we were the only participants. So we booked the tour and flights.
We were picked up at the Quito airport by Gilberto Merino, one of the founders of the company, and - as it turned out, we were the only participants this time, so Gilberto was our personal guide and driver the whole duration of the trip. Smiling We started out by taking a walk through Quito, visited the Equator and then the "Orchid hunting" ( by camera only of course) started by driving towards Mindo. Gilberto knew exactly how and where they were growing and flowering.
The main roads in Ecuador are excellent, a far cry from the hair-raising, very narrow, spiraling Andean roads experienced in the middle nineties in Bolivia. It seemed whenever we left a main road and it got bumpy, the Orchids were soon to be found. Thumbs up We traveled in a very comfortable Mazda 4x4 and Gilberto was a very capable driver, so there was no problem.
Every evening Gilberto labeled the Orchid pictures in my camera, which was very helpful, since we saw so many Orchids on a given day, it was tough to remember all.
I am thinking of posting my pictures in the form of installments, in the order taken. I will delete many and it will still be quite an armchair trip.

Starting in Quito after a few hours sleep:

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Notice the Orchids in the Cathedral windows!
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La mitat del Mundo ( Equator)
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 1:38 PM CST

Moderator

Next group:
Traveling towards Mindo
Lots of Epidendrum secundum type visible right from the road, along with other most interesting vegetation
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Xylobium leontoglossum
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and on another location
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Cyrtochilum serratum, long beautiful spikes on several locations
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typical Bromeliad encrusted trees, Orchids are usually nearby on same branches
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Lycaste( Ida) longipetala
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and at another location
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healthy Epidendrum roots on tree
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Pleurothallis cordata
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Masdevallia delphina
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Masdevallia nidifica
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Pea family
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Ponthieva parvilabris, growing in the dirt/gravel at roadside
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Trout for lunch
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Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jul 17, 2013 1:58 PM CST
Simply WOW Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 17, 2013 2:05 PM CST
Marvelous, Ursula. Glad you got the pictures of the Lycastes with hands for size comparison. Those are some huge flowers!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 2:19 PM CST

Moderator

Around Mindo -
vegetation is a raining Cloud Forest and it did rain every day. It is advisable to bring a Polartec jacket for warmth and rain gear. Shoes will get soaked on this trip and most of the socks are ready to be "disposed" by the end of the day. I took many pictures on this trip under the protection of an umbrella, to keep the camera dry. Despite that we were comfortable and happy to climb a hill, trot knee-deep through vegetation which many times consisted of orchids, to visit the many habitats.
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Mindo Garden
Klaus and Gilberto
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our cabin
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This place was a Hummingbird paradise, I spent some time watching them around the feeders.
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Cranichis sp., very pretty along the path
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Stelis pusilla
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Scaphosepalum microdactylum
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Masdevallia ophioglossa
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Masdevallia nidifica
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Scaphosepalum beluosum
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Pleurothallis ruberrima
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Taking a break here
[Last edited by Ursula - Jul 17, 2013 6:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 4:24 PM CST

Moderator

I am glad you are already reading along, Ted and Elaine! Smiling
Yes, you will see our hands and fingers every so often, mainly to steady a tiny bloom or as in here, pointing out a specific feature.

It should be mentioned that Ecuagenera schedules their Orchid tours around the flowering times of the various species in their particular areas, the November tour will be quite different from the July tour. We never expected in our wildest dreams to encounter so many Orchids and also in bloom.

Keeping going - around Mindo
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Another beautiful Cyrtochilum serratum, showing the sticky substance which is the reward for the pollinator
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Eurystyles auriculata
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Cryptocentrum sp
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Anthuriums
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Oncidium pyramidale
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Fruit break - we loved the delicious ripe fruits, yum!
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Termites
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Again the beautiful Cyrtochilum serratum
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This Cyrtochilum grew right over the road. And this particular road was very rough and watch what blocked the exit!! Our jaws had to be picked up here.... Smiling
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Ohhh?
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It took ca 30 minutes to create an opening for our car. In the meanwhile, I loved the beautiful Tibouchinas, they are growing in many places, but the blooms were really fresh on this one.
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Sobralias! Sobralias!
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Sobralia gentryi, with pollinator
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Pleurothallis cordata
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And lots more Sobralias and Elleanthus, we are walking, standing in them!
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Maxillaria brunnea
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We saw lots of Gunnera with their huge leaves
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and some more Pleurothallis cordata
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Stopping here to prepare the next group of pictures.
[Last edited by Ursula - Jul 17, 2013 4:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 4:44 PM CST

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Leaving Mindo Garden, visiting a nice Mariposario
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Gilberto with Butterfly on leg
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Brassia arcuigera
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 5:59 PM CST

Moderator

On our way to Cotacachi -
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Prosthechea fragrans ( Prosthechea = nonresupinate, Encyclia = resupinate flowers)
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Epidendrum tridens
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Habenaria micorrhiza
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another Habenaria plant in bloom, many times one stepped out of the car and there they were!
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Pitahaya farm ( Dragon fruit) I think these are Hylocereus triangularis, producing a yellowish fruit
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A Sobralia filled slope
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and high up on a slope a large clump of Ida ( Lycaste) heynderyxcii
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Epidendrum sp
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Klaus showing the thickness of vegetation
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Oncidium
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Phragmipedium lindenii, a Phrag without pouch, growing very high up on a hill. Gilberto took some nice pictures for us on this one.
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I took this picture, I think it was a Phrag lindenii plant
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Another group of the Ida heynderyxcii high up next to Cyrtochilum
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and this Odontoglossum pardinum also very high up on the hill
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[Last edited by Ursula - Jul 18, 2013 5:18 AM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 17, 2013 7:13 PM CST
Oh my! What a fun trip! It's neat, and helpful to see these plants in their natural habitat.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 17, 2013 7:22 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks Carol.
I will keep going tomorrow. Still have a lot more to go. Smiling
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 17, 2013 7:23 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Jul 17, 2013 8:41 PM CST
Wonderful! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 17, 2013 9:59 PM CST
Ursula, this is indeed a wonderful armchair trip you're treating us to.

I love the spider with the face on his abdomen. And the Ida's with their droopy petals, but my favorite so far is the Epi. tridens. Looks like a little space ship.

The Cyrtochilums have wild floof, or should I say "floof in the wild" ?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 18, 2013 5:27 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks!
I am having fun going through these pictures! Smiling Smiling
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 18, 2013 7:14 AM CST

Moderator

Driving down to Lita (if you are counting along, this is day 5)
Here I was excited to see how Schomburgkias grow in the wild and this was really interesting. But first to get there -
Don't you love these roads spiraling the Andean mountains? The scenery is always impressive!
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I was reminded of Passiflora molissima, but this one was red. It is probably a variety of P. tripartita /red Granadilla
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Lupines at Alpine zone
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At the Hosteria Rancho Santa Fe, a huge sprawling hotel surrounded by a large property, but a bit empty at the time of our stay.
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Some Cacti along the way, it is a bit drier here
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Exploring the vegetation here -
Catasetum expansum
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A large plant of Schomburgkia splendida grew on a large tree that had now landed on the ground. Other plants of this were a lot more exposed to straight sunshine as they grew high up in the canopy.
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Stopping at a very interesting place/farm, with lots of Pitahaya plants cultivated over large boulders and it was here that we saw Schomburgkia splendida also growing in rupicolous fashion.
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more later Smiling
[Last edited by Ursula - Jul 18, 2013 6:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 18, 2013 6:22 PM CST

Moderator

Back to the lady with her delicious Pitahaya/ Hylocereus, Schoms and a lot of other interesting plants:
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Cyrtopodium paniculatum, not in bloom, but growing right there on this rock.
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Schomburgkia splendida growing in straight sun also on these rocks, Papaya in the background
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Tilapia pond
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picking a bag full of Pitahaya to take along, so delicious and sweet and juicy, but - beware of the Pitahaya moment 2 hours later if not used to it..... Sticking tongue out
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Chicken soup for lunch
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Kollensteinia graminea
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beautiful tall spikes of Selenipedium aequinoctiale
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Step out of the car and see Habenarias! Smiling
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Epidendrum calanthum
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Epidendrum nocturnum
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Phragmipedium longifolium, another beautiful slipper Orchid
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Sobralia pulcherrima
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Tillandsias growing on wires
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Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jul 18, 2013 7:54 PM CST
"Step out of the car and see Habenarias!"

That really sums up the awe I'm feeling right now. Actually saw a plant or two I have
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 18, 2013 8:38 PM CST

Moderator

Another very busy day ( day 6) - towards Baeza ( Hotel Rodrigo)
climbing to 4000 m and exploring Paramo vegetation before driving east to the Amazon side and looking at lots of different species. But first we saw a large, very fancy replica of an Inca sundial.
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Aa cundinamarca
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Maxillaria nubigena
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Elleanthus amethystinum
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Stelis sp
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Pleurothallis lilijae?
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Stelis sp
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Epidendrum
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Tiny Stelis
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Maxillaria aurea
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Pterichis/Cranichis galatea ( need to confirm)
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And here comes a showstopper: Telipogon hutchinsonii, very beautiful! Lovey dubby
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pretty Cyclopogon leaf
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Lepanthes sp
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Lepanthes sp
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Lepanthes mucronata
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Pleurothallis
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Lepanthes hirtzii
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more Lepanthes
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Mesadenella
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Another Telipogon hutchinsonii in bloom
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Pleurothallis lilijae
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Cyrtochilum lameligerum
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Huge Maxillaria species around this tree
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Stelis sp
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Habenaria
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Pleurothallis cordata
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Epidendrum englerianum
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Trout (?) in Garlic sauce for Dinner and we were usually served rice along with french fries or sometimes Yucca. I liked the Fish very much
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[Last edited by Ursula - Jul 21, 2013 6:37 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #451644 (18)
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 18, 2013 8:41 PM CST

Moderator

Ted, this group has more Habenarias..... Smiling
The amount of Orchids we got to see here was staggering! I am in awe myself just looking through my pictures now again.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jul 19, 2013 12:20 PM CST

Moderator

To Archidona on day 7 (staying at the very beautiful Hosteria Las Bromelias)
We had a pretty wet day with lots of camera action under the umbrella to keep the camera dry.( I also stuck the camera between pictures into the front of my jacket, as it started to make strange crrrrk noises when focussing and also so it didn't bounce around when moving.The strange noises have stopped in the meanwhile and the camera is fine) I did my best to take pictures... Whistling
After a while of walking around in wet habitats, we didn't even notice the rain any longer and wet feet were simple part of adventure.
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Begonia parviflora
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Pleurothallis dodsonii
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I am not sure, but this may have been a Cryptocentrum
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The Lichen in this area were really interesting and I can imagine a special study could be made of those.
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Epidendrum sp ( breviraceum?) with thick fleshy growth
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Maxillaria arachnites
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Peurothallis inflata
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Maxillaria ecuadorensis brown
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Gilberto manages to stay dry! Smiling
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Cyrtochilum trifurcatum
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Pleurothallis dunsterville
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Orchids Orchids Orchids!!
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Passiflora mollissima, this time it IS the pink one.
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Maxillaria ecuadorensis alba
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Epidendrum sp
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Epidendrum bracteacrumenatum
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Epidendrum bracteacrumenatum album
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Epi sp
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Stelis
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Maxillaria meridensis
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Sobralia rosea
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Pleurothallis sp
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Beautiful pool and swim before Dinner at the Hosteria Las Bromelias
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and neat Moths on house-wall in the evening
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and leaving the Hosteria las Bromelias next morning
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[Last edited by Ursula - Jul 19, 2013 5:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #451901 (20)

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