Jump to content

Trip 3-Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso state, W Brazil

Recommended Posts

Hello again,

Early on Sunday morning, I picked up my friend Marcos Cardoso and we drove the 60km to the Chapada dos Guimarães (a series of beautiful escarpments just north of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso state). We'd explored these mountains extensively in the early 90's -- a time when the both of us were just starting with CPs. Together we learned the basics about CP hunting at the Chapada dos Guimarães: which species were anuals or perennials, which habitats each preferred, what times of the year they could be found, how to herborize CPs, how to ID species using the literature, etc. Those escarpments brought back tons of great memories!

We first visited a population of D.cayennensis (= D.pumila or D.colombiana) which is a bit different from all the other D.cayennensis found at the Chapada dos Guimarães in that it has green leaves (most have wine-red leaves) and simple white hairs on the flower scapes (most are glandular). Unfortunately no flowers were seen, but scapes were present. Many rosettes were already showing signs of rot near the center, indicating they were already preparing to go dormant as roots during the long dry season.

While driving along, I was telling Marcos how I thought it was very strange that we had never seen hybrids between D.communis and D.hirtella var.lutescens at the Chapada dos Guimarães. I discovered this natural hybrid in the late 90's in the state of Goiás, wherever the 2 species grew together. I had just assumed that the small form of D.communis native to the Chapada dos Guimarães was not cross-fertile with D.hirtella var.lutescens.

Hearing this, Marcos suggested we visit a seepage site I had never been to, where D.communis and D.hirtella var.lutescens supposedly grew side-by-side. It was very close to the road and we were soon seeing numerous CPs and CP species.

Typical wine-red D.cayennensis grew in the higher, sandier less wet parts of the seepage. Only old dry scapes remained. A little further down we saw numerous D.hirtella var.lutescens in wetter soil, many plants with young scapes but no flowers open. In the wetter, peatier spots grew D.communis. But there was a small area of overlap between the species, and it didn't take us long to find hybrids in the overlap between the latter two taxa! Why had we never seen them? We were probably just too inexperienced to notice the hybrids 15 years ago.

The hybrids were intermediate, with red leaves semi-erect and slightly ascending scapes with white simple hairs. Curiously, the D.hirtella var.lutescens seen were not very typical. Usually this species had yellowish scapes with long white hairs near the base. The plants we saw at this site had redder scapes and shorter, less dense hairs... Could the ones photographed have been hybrids themselves? Or maybe hybrids with D.cayennensis? I've never seen this hybrid, but they both have 2n=20 chromosomes...

Also at this site, we saw tiny white-flowered U.amethystina, U.nana, U.triloba, and lots of G.pygmaea.

Our next stop was a large seepage which we knew very well. There we saw beautiful (and typical) D.hirtella var.lutescens, D.communis, and D.cayennensis. G.repens, G.filiformis & G.aurea also grow at this site. As for Utrics, we saw U.subulata, lots of U.nana, and some U.nigrescens (with their long curved spurs and scapes covered with mucilage).

There were two very special Utrics which I wanted to (and did) see at this site. One of these we had tentatively identified as U.tenuissima 15 years ago. But over the years I have seen U.tenuissima at several other sites and am nearly convinced that this plant from the Chapada dos Guimarães is actually a new species, possibly closest to U.laciniata.

The 2nd special Utric at this site was the smallest of all Utrics: U.biovularioides. This species was, until recently, only known from 2 collections: the type specimen (now lost) from the Amazon (1914) and a collection from central Brazil (1940) at the Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás state.

It was at this seepage on the Chapada dos Guimarães that I 1st saw this species in 1994 (and then found a few sites at the Chapada dos Veadeiros in 1995), while cleaning aquatic D.communis of algae to make herbarium specimens. Marcos & I were able to find the boggy spot where

U.biovularioides grew and also found a few flowers submerged by a few centimeters of water.

Unfortunately, we were not able to visit many of the other interesting CP sites we knew on the Chapada dos Guimarães, such as the site where we originally discovered D.sp."flat red communis". I had to leave Cuiabá by noon in order to drive ~700km back to Campo Grande and catch my flight back to Sao Paulo, arriving on Monday morning and going straight to the office...

I was planning to stop along a few roadside lagoons on my way out from Cuiabá to search for U.poconensis (Marcos found some in this area a few years ago), but it was raining too hard. Further south, already in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, I stopped by a large buriti stand near the city of Coxim and found some U.trichophylla, U.triloba, and U.hispida.

See pics below...

All the best,

Fernando Rivadavia

This is the green D.cayennensis with white hairs on the scapes:





And this is D.cayennensis more typical of the Chapada dos Guimarães (although elsewhere the leaves are usually more triangular, like D.brevifolia):


This is typical D.hirtella var.lutescens:



And here's the atypical plant (hybrid?):


This is the hybrid D.hirtella var.lutescens X D.communis (notice all the U.nana in the 1st pic):



Here's the hybrid on the left, D.hirtella var.lutescens in the center, and D.communis on the right:


And this is the small form of D.communis native to these highlands(they were in full flower):


In this shot you can see loads of U.nana and even some D.communis in the background:


Here are 2 shots of G.pygmaea, check the simple hairs on the scapes:



Here's the elegant U.nigrescens (you can even see a big drop of mucilage on the right):


This is the possible new species which we initially confused with U.tenuissima:




And this is the smallest of all Utrics, U.biovularioides -- possibly the smallest angiosperm in weight, according to Peter Taylor (in the 1st shot you can see a few flowers underwater with my finger for comparisson):



This is U.hispida near Coxim:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic shots of some really good looking plants, specially the aquatic utrics! :) Overall it looks like you had a great trip and it was good to see something other than just the native CP's too! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to document the trip Fernando.. a wonderful invitation to join your road trip ( albeit from our armchairs!! :lol:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys!

Thanks for the replies! ;)

I woke up this morning with a single thought on my mind (strange how the unsconscious works while you sleep!): you forgot to include pics of U.biovularioides!! So I've included them above for you all to see just how tiny this plant is -- and how difficult it is to find!

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could be forgiven for thinking that the green D. cayennensis was photograsphed in South Africa- a great looking plant.

The potentially new species of Utricularia is obviously very closely related to U. blanchettii- but nicer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Hello to all,

Looking back at some of my old posts, I see that this new forum fornat is now limiting the number of pictures per post! Since many of py pics don't appear anymore on the original post, only the links, I will include them here at the end for you, continuing from where the pics left off...

Best Wishes, Fernando Rivadavia


And this is the smallest of all Utrics, U.biovularioides -- possibly the smallest angiosperm in weight, according to Peter Taylor (in the 1st shot you can see a few flowers underwater with my finger for comparisson):



This is U.hispida near Coxim:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Bob,

It was an accident! :) I was cleaning D.communis from this site for herbarium over 10 years ago, removing algae, when is aw the Utric strings with the tiny white flowers. I immediately recognized it from Taylor's book, since it was one of my Holy Grails. After all, it had only been collected twice (in 1915 & 1940, if I'm not mistaken) in distant parts of Brazil. Since then, I have found it at a few sites in one other place. It is probably common, just easily overlooked.

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...