NoelCalvert's blog

Second Trip to Ecuador
Posted on Jan 14, 2013 8:22 AM

Hello Everyone.

After learning about the requirements to gain a spousal visa for Colombia, my wife & I collected all the necessary things, & we are returning to Tulcan, Ecuador to file for my spousal visa (Isn’t that a twist on the norm).

I will be taking digital photos & some video as I did buy my digital camera.  There will even be some wonderful technical data included as I am going to have the driver hit the trip meter, & take kilometer readings anywhere I collect plants, or find significant such as bridges or centers of villages.  I am also going to make the attempt to note on film where I collected the previous plants though that may be a bit tough.

We will be returning three days from now, but I would not expect the new photos to be up until next weekend as I am sure we will be busy collecting my 2 year old son, my puppy, & resting after the trip.

Regards,

Noel

This first set of pictures was our first stop on the way to Ecuador.  We had lunch at a restaurant at this reserve.

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There is a beautiful river that runs beside this restaurant.  Here are photos of the river & some of the Aroids on the bank.

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These photos are of the concrete ponds used to support the restaurant's fish menu.

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We arrived in Ecuador in the afternoon while it was still sunny, but an hour or so after we arrived it began to rain.  I am so surprised that it rained in the rain forest!  HEHE Just kidding!  
By the way, the people here simply call this area jungle.  Rain forest does not mean anything to them since they are familiar with this forest.  They do not even think to realize that other areas of the world are not like this.  
You should hear some of the silly questions or statements I hear about my culture.

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As we explored Tulcan, Ecuador, I took some photos of the city.  Here they are below.  I took my wife shopping also since we were basically on a vacation trip.  I have lots of pictures of dresses & jackets that I can upload if the site is interested, but I have not bothered to do that yet.

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There is a statue much like our statue of liberty here in this park.  I took a bunch of pictures of it as well as the plaques commemorating the dates & events.  Here they are.

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Here are the rest of the photos of the same park.

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Anyone care to guess what this gorgeous flower is?  I am amazed to see this growing in a  public park.

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Here are the photos of the border between Ecuador & Colombia.  We are on our way to meet our taxi, & stopped to take pictures of the natural barrier between Ecuador & Colombia which is a river.

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Bring on the plants.  The first on our stops was at the bridge where the mother plant for the Monstera Deliciosa I found lives.  I was told I should note landmarks such as bridges during my collections, & I promised the site to take photos of this mother plant on my next trip.  This is a monster literally!
I asked Omar, our taxi driver to drive slower on this trip so I could more easily note the plants I wanted to collect.  He obliged me with an average speed of 80 KMPH which is much slower than they normally take this trip.

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Rules to happy marriage.  Wife wants something simple & easy, give it to her!  My wife noticed this plant, & asked to collect a specimen for the house.  "Of course , baby!"
 
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I noticed this flower up a little trail beside the same area where the mother plant of the Monstera Deliciosa is.  I am not sure if we still have a specimen since my wife planted all the "flowers"  I will look at the plants to see if I can match this later.

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I noticed this flower growing on the side of the road just before the first small town we passed after I started collecting plants (town name to follow in later edits)

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These Impatiens are wild all over the side of the road in about 6 colors I think.  My wife was absolutely beside herself with these, & collected every color she could as well as the moss growing over the ground which was the smartest thing I could think of there.  She planted all the flowers directly in pots filled with moss.  (Beams proudly about wife)

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This is one of the two common orchids here.  I have this variety already, so did not collect this plant.

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These plants are on the first aroid collection stop.  I collected 3 different species here (I am relatively sure they are different species)

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This plant is gigantic.  I may have collected more than one example of this plant as I later collected a large piece of another plant that appears to be the same.  the stem photo is of a stem which is more
 than 3 inches thick.

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This waterfall marks the next stop on our journey.  I collected 4 different species on this stop.  3 of them are self heading species, but I have no idea what species.  They appear to be Anthariums from the little I know about these species having the geniculm or elbow joint on the petiole to be able to turn a bit for light.  

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The heart shaped leaf seems to be Philodendron verrucosum, but has distinct differences.  There is no color in the leaves, & the vein structure is significantly different.

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This is where the trip back became interesting for me.  I noticed this plant deep in some cover on the road & simply told Omar to stop.  He stopped about 100 meters ahead, & I ran back looking for it.  It turned out to be a monstrous Philodendron verrucosum about 30 feet long entwined in 3 closely growing trees.  As this is one of my favorite plants, I collected several specimens which I planted in various locations to maximize survival chances.  The largest is a three leaved tip of the big plant which seems to be growing as if it did not notice being moved.  The biggest leaves you see in the picture are over 2 feet long.

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This plant has an interesting tiger pattern in dark brown on the petioles, & looks great next to the monster Philodendron verrucosum in my large planter.  Anyone know what it is?

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This is an incredible plant, but I am not sure if it is an aroid.  It seems to be, but I can not be sure.  

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These two plants were collected on the side of this same creek location as my wife was calling me to return to the car.  I snuck up the trail & discovered them attached to moss on a rock by the water.  Ideas as to what they are?

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This gigantic plant is not very far from my home.  It is a few hundred meters from a military roadblock outside of Chilvi.  I collected a large specimen which may be the same as a few I already collected, but no pieces this large.  This plant grows huge.  The petioles are longer than 3 foot, & the leaves I have seen are 2 & 1/2 to 3 feet long.  Anyone know what it is?

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Comfamiliar De Narino. Centro Recreacional y vacacional "Chilvi"
Posted on Dec 25, 2012 12:02 PM

I took my wife, sister-in-law, niece, & son to this recreational park.  Behind the park is natural jungle that is constantly trying to retake the park.  I went walking with my wife in this area, & collected quite a few plants to bring home.  Here is the entrance to Chilvi!

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Here are some of the planted flowers on the site.

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Chilvi is located about a half hour east of Tumaco on the continent.  My wife says it is about 28 KM from Tumaco.

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Welcome to the jungle!

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My wife & I took a walk behind the recreation center called Chilvi.  There we observed many plants as we walked on the small walking trail they are currently building in Chilvi.  Here is the first "interesting" plant that we found, & subsequently collected.  

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We did not find any more "interesting" plants on the trail, but took photos of this flower that seems to grow all over in Tumaco.  My wife & I both adore it, & will be planting it on our property once we find some land.  Bird of paradise I think, but I am not sure.

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I also saw another plant I was curious about, but I did not collect it.  It was infested with ants which were eating the leaves.  Here are the photos of it, but I do not expect much.

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My wife & I left the short trail, & went to the other side of the park where a fence surrounds the outer edge.  We followed the fence where the park crew tries to keep the lane clear of the fence.  As we walked, we encountered this plant which I thought was Monstera adansonii until inspected closer.  The leaves are more papery instead of leathery, they do not have the holes that most monstera have, & none of the leaves have the odd elbow like joint on the petioles like all monsteras have.  I forget what that is called.
I think it is some sort of philodendron, but I would like an ID to be sure.

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We encountered many different plants including some miniature angel wing begonias which I do not know the scientific name of, & two versions of this plant which I have no clue about.  There is one with stripes, & one without stripes on the oval shaped leaves.
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I nearly got swarmed by ants getting these pictures of some philodendron or antharium that I already have in my home.  I will be coming back once I have more space for mature specimens.

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This plant was awesome.  I believe it is  Monstera pinnatipartita Schott. It was about 4 meters up in this tree among all those air roots you see.  Those are actually air roots of the tree itself ,& of the plant that I took pictures of.  I climbed about 3 meters up the tree on slicked up bark due to the rain earlier this day, pulled the plant free, & almost fell out of the tree as I slid down about to the ground.  The plant has two ripening fruit on it, & about 8 mature leaves.  The vine did not reach the ground at this point, & the air roots were attached to the tree.  They did not reach the ground either.  I scraped up my right arm pretty bad as I slid down the tree, but I got my plant.

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The last plant I found of note that I have photos of is this odd philodendron.  I have seen something like it before in Philodendron geoldii, but this does not match that plant from what I can tell.

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My wife & I are planning to go back to this area tomorrow to find out about buying my land there.  If I am lucky, I will be able to strike a deal for 4 to 6 acres of land for payments over the next two years.  Wish me luck!

More to come later this week, & possibly photos of frogs that I found in the same location.

 

 

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Planting of unknown aroid seed.
Posted on Dec 20, 2012 9:29 AM

Hello everyone,

This plant dropped the fruit it had when I collected it.  I am still attempting to get a positive ID on this plant.  LariAnn told me it may be Anthurium faustomirandae.  Dr. Thomas Croat seemed to think it may be a new plant he has recently described that he calls Anthurium ramosense Croat.  

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I allowed the fruit to continue to ripen in a drawer, & started removing seed last night after I noticed segments beginning to fall free from the fruit.  As per directions from LariAnn, I cleaned the seeds, & soaked them overnight in clean water(she suggested distilled, but I do not have that available). 

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12/20/12

Here are photos of the seeds planted in egg carton with a soil rich in organic matter.  The reason it is so black is the ash, & burned wood in the mix. 

I assume after inspecting the tiny seeds closely that this type of seed needs light to germinate, & would die if allowed to dry.  I am currently looking for more information on this, but this seems to be the normal mode for tropical plants.  More as these seeds germinate, or whatever happens.

Edit: 12/27/2012

The seeds have begun to turn completely green, & some have begun to germinate.  This is much faster than the anticipated times listed on the various sites I checked about seeds of these type (4-6 weeks estimated)  Pictures to come in the morning.

Edit:  All the seeds which had light began to germinate, & some are showing the first leaf. 

Note:  I covered some of the seeds to test my thought that they need light to grow.  So far none of the covered seeds have germinated.  I plan to remove them from the soil, & try to germinate them again when I return from Ecuador this weekend.

Note:  This seed seems to exhibit something strange to me.  Part of the cloning process for cloning plants is producing a mass of undifferentiated cells to cultivate into multiple plants.  These seeds seem to do this as well.  Look at the growth protruding from each of the seeds.  The leaf on the latter pictures springs up from this mass , but so far I do not see any root growth.

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Caladium Breeding attempt 1.
Posted on Dec 12, 2012 8:17 PM

I have a inflorescence on this old plant "Painters Pallet", & a inflorescence emerging on my Thai hybrid that I had ID'd here.  I am going to try to combine them, & I would LOVE to see an orange variant.

I will let you know what happens with my first attempt to cross Caladiums as soon as I know!

 

Update:  Due to the length of time the pollen was stored in bad conditions (it dried out in the refrigerator) while waiting on the other inflorescence to be fertile, this pollination attempt failed.

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Here is a new inflorescence pushing it's way out.
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Edit:  Here is the same inflorescence today. 12/12/12
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The other caladium "Painters Pallet"donating pollen I hope.
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Edit: Inflorescence today 12/12/12
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Edit: Inflorescence showing pollen today 12/14/12

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There was not much pollen to collect.  I am hoping more appears before morning, but I am not holding my breath.

Edit: 12/19/12 More pollen did appear by morning, but the total was not much. 

Edit 12/19/12:  I am not sure, but I think the Painters Pallet may have self-pollinated.  I do not know how that could happen, but the inflorescence has not shown signs of dropping off yet.

Edit:  12/20/12 Inflorescence of Painters Pallet today.
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The other inflorescence is still growing.

Edit 12/19/12:  The Thai hybrid inflorescence began to change color tonight, so I took the pollen I collected, & placed it inside the inflorescence attempting to cover the female flowers with pollen.  We will see in a few days what happens.  I taped the inflorescence back together afterwards, so the pollen would not be able to fall out.

Edit 12/20/12 Thai hybrid Inflorescence after pollination, & retaping. (yes, it is duct tape, but its two layers with the inside layer sticky side out)

 

Update:  Due to the length of time the pollen was stored in bad conditions (it dried out in the refrigerator) while waiting on the other inflorescence to be fertile, this pollination attempt failed.
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Return from Ecuador!
Posted on Dec 9, 2012 9:23 PM

Our Return From Ecuador!

To make all that even better, I just found out on this trip to Ecuador to refresh my tourist visa that I can get a spouse visa, & not have to worry about needing to leave Colombia.  

On the way to Ecuador, Jessy & I met a taxi driver named Omar.  After a bit of talking, we convinced him to return for us so that we could stop on the road coming back to collect plants for our home.  He thought it was quite a strange request, but said we would need to pay double to have the taxi for us alone, but he would stop at any location we wished.  This man was true to his word.  When we called him the night before leaving Ecuador, he assured us he would be waiting the next morning.  The trip is about 4 hours long from Ipiales to Tumaco. Though very beautiful, the plant life on the beginning leg of the trip is mostly evergreens that I have no interest in collecting, or cold climate stuff that would not survive in Tumaco.  Oddly enough, the stuff I wanted to collect was only an hour & a half away.  

This being the case, I suppose I got distracted from watching for plants I would like to take home, & our taxi driver simply stopped on the end of a bridge when he saw a huge "Monstera deliciosa".  He asked if I would like a piece of that one, & my wife exclaimed that she would like it in the house.  The thing is incredible.  So after exploring the plant which was growing next to the bridge in a creeping growth pattern since there were no trees near to climb, I took out my Leatherman multi-tool.  I opened the saw blade & cut through one of the branches of this monster.  Even after cutting this branch off, the plant was still an incredible site.  I will try to get photos of the mother plant on the next trip.
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After stuffing this plant unceremoniously in the trunk, we took off again.  We were still in the mountains, but on the downward trek.  About half an hour later of watching all these gorgeous mountains pass by with all the random plant life, I noticed what I thought to be some sort of Philodendron that I saw on the way to Ecuador.
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We stopped to collect this plant.  I concentrated on this plant, but Omar had seen something else.  He went further back on the road, & waited for me to come along to show me this plant.
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We ended up collecting 3 samples of this plant & one monster of whatever the first one is.  LariAnn suggested it may be a Anthurium faustomirandae which is probably correct.

The trip continued with us running into traffic in the middle of no where on a mountain road.  Since the Colombian road crews were working up here, the traffic was backed up.  Not one to be daunted by annoying circumstance, I got out to look at the plants nearby.  I ended up collecting a flowering plant that I have not photographed yet (it wilted, but I am hoping it recovers), & these specimens.
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Later on the trip we passed an Army security station.  A few feet past the station was an incredible looking plant that I have not photographed yet either.  It has huge (2' to 3') nearly completely round leaves on a large thick vine.  When it recovers I will photograph it.  I saw the plant on the Army property across a fence which I thought was a bad idea to cross without permission (DUH), so I looked in the area for other specimens.  On the other side of the road about 40' back from where we stopped, I saw 2 plants climbing a tree in a small creek.  My wife told me we should just leave.  After a few minutes looking for a path to my plant, I was able to get to it, & pull out a large piece to take home with me.  This thing had such large petioles that it would not fit in the trunk.  As horrible as it sounds, I simply broke off the two leaves it had, & only left the leaf that was unfurling when I pulled it up.  The plant fit in the trunk now, & off we went.  

Later, there was another area of road work, but it did not stop us from traveling.  As we passed through, I saw a flash of red in a small cave about 3' wide on the side of the road.  I asked the driver to stop so I could check it out, & ended up with this, & 3 other specimens.
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An example of the other specimens.
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At this point, I forget if I collected any more plants, but we were pretty near home.  I am very pleased with the adventure, & looking forward to repeating it.  I am also looking forward to exploring other areas.

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