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P.chuquisacensis in Bolivia

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As you have seen from a previous post by Fernando Rivadavia, at the end of last year I went through some countries in South America and had time to go looking for some CPs.

One of the plants I hunted for was P.chuquisacensis in Bolivia. I had some very precise info about its locality including some GPS coordinates and the name of a nearby town. With this information I planned my route while travelling around Bolivia to include the city of Sucre, second most important city in Bolivia and the best place for renting a car and go hunting for this plant.

From Sucre I had to drive around 200km mostly by unpaved road to Villa Serrano, the town closest to the plants. This turned out to be a long but nice drive with different and interesting landscapes including arid deserts, rocky cliffs, dry shrubs and forests and finally the humid cloud forests at the end of the trip.

Here you can see what most of the road is like, unpaved but constructed of well placed rocks. Also some native women from Bolivia with their typical dresses:


One has to be careful because its very usual to find some heavy traffic crossing the road:


Later you will find the roads are just dirt road surrounded by arid lands with xerophytic vegetation:



Vegetation on the rock cliffs is interesting, with some cactus and tillandsia plants:


Then, vegetation starts to transition slowly and you start to find more green patches and some trees. Some of them were blooming in colors, good for some nice shots with my camera:



When we arrived at Villa Serrano, I realized the car needed some fuel if I wanted to get back to Sucre the next day. So I had to look for the only fuel station there, it is a high tech place with the most modern technology:


At Villa Serrano we spent one night, planning to go the next day early in the morning to Nuevo Mundo, aprox. 30 Km away by a muddy road. The pings were supposed to be located very near that road just before arriving at Nuevo Mundo.

In the morning we woke up early and started the final part of the search. I drove slowly because the road was muddy and slippery, and also because the vegetation gets more and more abundant. I was looking out the window all the time, spotting an orchid, a bromeliad, a tree with intersting flowers, etc. I really love the cloud forests and all the diversity you can find there. The mountains are all covered with forests and clouds, and the place is quite humid:


Finally, we arrived at the coordinates I had saved in my GPS. Just to the right of the road, there was a rocky mountain with water dripping at some places and very interesting plants growing there, including some orchids, bromeliads and cactus. We searched carefully around all the mountain, the habitat looked good for CPs but there were no Pings. Very frustrated, we went back to the car and decided to go further to Nuevo Mundo and know the place. Drove a little more and soon we found the sign telling us Nuevo Mundo was very near:


We took the next turn and yes, we could see some houses about a hundred meters away when I looked by the window. My heart stopped, and also did the car as I shouted joyfully "AHI ESTAN!!!". One millisecond more and I had parked the car on the side of the road, opened the door and walked to the rock wall full of plants of Pinguicula chuquisacensis. Finally, it paid driving all the way here and the time we spent searching for the plants:


The vertical rock face was all covered by a thin layer of dripping water and some dirt, mostly laterite soil that is common in the tropics. There were lots of plants forming groups in the wall:




Plants were healthy and eating like hungry beasts some of the abundant bugs around there:



Most adult plants had fruits or dry flower scapes, but I could not find any open flower, just one late flowerer developing two buds:




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The oldest plants had green rhizomes, running along the rock face:



There were also some young seedlings, showing that the population is healthy and reproducing:


Finally, a view of the complete rock wall were the plants are growing:


Being the only place were this species has been found, I think they are highly vulnerable. Fortunately the species is now under culture and the plants are growing fine, because the future of the plants in this habitat is uncertain. Any work made on the road can make all this plants disappear forever.

I hope you liked this story and pictures.

Until the next CP adventure,


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Hi Sebastian,

great pictures and very nice report. :yes:

I really like the landscape, especially these cloudy mountains.

It looks a little bit like that the wall is made by humans because of the street, are the plants also growing above this wall or near to this location?

On what altitude are they growing and what are the temperatures?

Thanks for sharing. :shock:

Best regards,


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Hello Daniel,

Thanks for asking, i forgot to mention those details. The plants grow only on the vertical wall and near the base, elevation is 2212m measured with my GPS. I can only tell about the temperatures for the short time I was there on a cloudy day and early in the morning (8 am). I think temps were around 13 centigrade degrees, but this is just by feeling. I did not have a thermometer with me.



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Wow, great pictures Sebas, thanks so much for sharing! I especially enjoyed the picture showing the thick rhizome, it's amazing! Too bad you didn't get to see any open flowers though.

As for the population, it does truly seem extremely vulnerable. But there MUST be more in the vicinity! After all, that vertical wall is artificial to begin with, made when the road was bulit. So the plants must have come from another nearby cliff, probably further up the mountains.

All the best,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Ahhhhhhh :P

I was waiting for your post with impatience. Thank you very much for that report.

Even if there wasn't any flower, it's full of information. This type of rhizome is quite unusual in the genus Pinguicula. Are the whitish structures produced by the rhizomes roots or stolons? It's look like the stolons of Pinguicula vallisneriifolia.

As Fernando said, there must be some more locations in the neighbourghood. It seems to be a very wild place so with a little more exploration, it can be easy to find more.

I'm very impatience to see it in cultivation and to have one :oops: It seems to be a lovely species :D

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Hola Sebastian,

What a nice travel report, thanks for sharing! I really love to see this plant in the wild. I only knew it from photos and flat dried specimens so far ;)

The longest "stem" (or rhizome, if you like) I meassured in a herbarium specimen of P. chuquisacensis was about 10 cm long!

Daniel, however these rhizoms are common in every long-living homophyllous Pinguicula. It's just that you normally do not notice them, as the plants are gowing with their substrate. But if you excavate/repot an old P. moranensis, for example, you will note that it has a long underground stem, which slowly decayes from its back end.

All the best,


PS: Sebastian, I'm sorry to tell you that you will have to do this tour through the Andes again, because you will still have to find Drosera peruensis, haha! ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haha, Hello Andreas. It's good to know you liked the report. Of course I have to go back to Peru, I'll go when you join me :rolleyes:

I think it's necessary to stay there for some days and explore the area very well.

Jeff: No plans to go back to Bolivia in the future, maybe some of the plants in cultivation will show us their flowers soon.



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Hi Sebastian,

is a great expedition, Bolivia look's a nice place.

... some of the plants in cultivation will show us their flowers soon

I will wait for these shots. :rolleyes:


Edited by Carlos Rohrbacher
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in europe ( spain) we have also a species like jarmilae with rhizome ( stolons) , vallisneriifolia

see here



Edited by jeff 1
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  • 1 month later...


As Fernando said, it is already in cultivation in Germany. My sowing conditions are just the same I use for growing my P.emarginata. Soil mix of quartz sand with some peat and tray watering. Bright indirect sun in the afternoon and around two hours of direct sun in the morning.



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  • 1 month later...

hi, Sebastian i ve read and seen your report by the pinguiculas chuquisacensis in bolivia im glad and proud to have this kind of carnivorous im from cochambamba bolivia living right now in spain, im sure when i come back t my country ill be there to see those plants, what about the animales around they use to eat them? or any problems? im sure that u get some plants o seeds, tell me is the plants ok? adaptading in the climate where u live?

sorry my english is still limited thanks for visit my country and i u have some travel so look for carnivorous plants tell me i ve seed drosophyllum, pinguiculas here in spain huggs

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  • 3 months later...

I have two large plants in cultivation that already flowered this spring.

They do indeed make stolons similar tho these of P. vallisneriifolia but more robust.

It's a quite interesting fact about this species.



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