13665 - Bromeliads (Wild) - 2018-03-08|
(Dimension: 1530 x 2050 pixels - Counter: 2188)
Locality: Ecuador, Zamora-Chinchipe Province - 1st 3 pictures are from site on road from Los Encuentros heading east toward the Condor Mts in Zamora-Chinchipe Province at an altitude of 1632 meters. These plants were very large - I would say they were almost 1.25 meters tall. They were in full anthesis at the time of photographing them. They were growing terrestrially along the road cuts among the ever present deep creeping fern that covers these areas. Quite spectacular. This area did not appear to be overly wet. The 2nd 2 pictures (plant with red foliages are from a plant at a different location (Limon Antenna Road in Morona-Santiago Province growing at an altitude of 2284 meters. These plants at higher altitude were not fully open, so at the time were somewhat smaller, growing to about 1 meter high.
Photographer: Jerry Raack
Note: Several observations. The plants at lower altitude were fully in anthesis, while those at the much cooler, wetter higher altitude were not yet in anthesis. Those at the higher elevation develop much more color on the foliage as can be seen in the pictures, and the inflorescence is covered with a thick mucous covering to protect the flowers during development. Not all plants at the higher altitude have foliage that is as red as the plant shown, but most had more color than at the lower altitude. Could be either or both the UV light difference or the colder temperatures that color them up. Those at high altitude were growing in much wetter conditions than those in the Condor. Companion plants in the Condor were Guzmania gracilior, Gregbrownia (ex Mezobromelia) rubrobracteata, Josemania asplundii and a yet to be identified Mezobromelia. At the higher altitude, the companions were Guzmania mosquerae, a "form" of Guzmania squarrosa, 2 yet to be identified small Guzmania, and various hybrids. All those at high altitude were growing in deep moss which was quite swampy. A very beautiful species. I grow a form of G. garciaensis that I purchased from Karol Villena in Peru, but it does not color up for me anything like these. Could be my much warmer summer conditions, lower light levels, or the cultivar I have in my greenhouse. (Sent: email@example.com)