Las Cruces and Cuerici
I've had the pleasure to travel to Las Cruces and Cuericí biological stations in Costa Rica as part of the OTS Tropical Plant Systematics course. During the past couple of weeks I spent time at these sites attending course lectures, collecting plants, herping, and learning new computational skills. I will now spend a week in Palo Verde National Park before spending nearly two weeks at La Selva Biological Station. Here are some of the highlights (and plants) of my trip so far:
This is one of the many Neotropical Green Anoles wandering about the gardens at Las Cruces Biological Station.
Centropogon ferrungineus (L.f.) Gleason
The cloud forests around Cuericí are filled with a diversity of flora, and the mix of primary and secondary forests allows for interesting comparisons.
Kohleria tigridia (Ohlend.) Roalson & Boggan
Romanschulzia costaricensis (Standl.) Rollins
This is a very interesting Crucifer native to Costa Rica and can be distinguished from the endemic R. apetala by having reduced white petals and narrow fruits (~1mm wide), whereas R. apetala is of a shrub-like habit, lacks petals, and has wider fruits (3-4mm).
A view from the old oxcart trail in the Costa Rican Talamanca páramo.
Elaphoglossum hoffmannii (Mett. ex Kuhn) Christ
It's a real pleasure to be taking the OTS Tropical Plant Systematics course with Ptedirophyte (fern) expert, Robbin Moran from the New York Botanical Gardens. With Robbin's supreme enthusiasm, we hunted down this extraordinary iridescent Elaphoglossum in the Talamanca páramo!
Pachyphyllum hispidulum (Rchb. f.) Garay & Dunst.
This little orchid grows inconspicuously on trees in the páramo. Some branches host half a dozen of these, and to my surprise the populations were quite large. Orchidaceae is one of the most diverse families that inhabit the páramo and luckily many species of epiphytic and terrestrial orchids were in bloom!
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