Pinguicula involuta, Inca trail to Machu Picchu in Peru


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While travelling around Peru, one of the places we visited was Machu Picchu but to get there we did the classic 4 day Inca Trail. That was an amazing trekking with oportunities to observe many interesting native flora and fauna. I recommend this to anyone who is going to visit Machu Picchu and likes walking in the mountains.

This is the place where the trail starts:

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This shrub is very common, I like how the small flowers resemble a flower of Passiflora:

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There were also some very nice Passiflora flowers:

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Masdevallia veitchiana grows there between the grasees, one of the nicest orchids in the Masdevallia genus, here with a pollinator:

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Look at the wonderfull colors, in quechua the name of this orquid is Waqanqui (Crying flower):

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There were also some Begonia with big red blooms:

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and Hesperidae butteflies, with a nice coat for the cold nights:

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Hummingbirds are quite common there too:

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Here, we did it to the highest pass in the trail, 4225m over sea level. Waliking up here with the bag in the back and low oxygen was somewhat tiring:

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The fauna there is not very shy, this deer was near the trail and wasn't scared by seeing us:

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On the third day of the trekking there are very nice cloud forests with lots of orchids and trees with their branches covered with mosses. I really enjoyed this part of the trail, there was very much to be seen and it took us about twice the time it takes to other tourists because we were looking at the orchids and flowers, and taking pictures of everything, including the Pinguicula involuta.

A nice red Epidendrum:

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and a yellow one, look at the Sphagnum moss behind it, that is where the Pinguicula grows:

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A very funny small rodent, he was really curious and friendly:

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A tiny Lepanthes orchid:

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This is how the cloud forest around the place looks like (That's me and my girlfriend, Fanery):

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In the open places of the trail where the sun can reach the soil, the Pinguicula plants grow:

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And now, let's go to the pings...

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Pinguicula involuta is a really common plant in this place, they grow in good quantities in the soil and in the Sphagnum moss, fortunately it is in a protected area. The guide were very interested about knowing there is a carnivorous plant in the Inca Trail, now they have one more curiosity to show the tourists. They even memorized the plants scientific name:

Here it is growing in soil and mosses:

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Here in Sphagnum moss:

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Some more plants:

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A plant with captured prey:

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Some more plants:

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And this report is not complete, without a picture of me in Machu Picchu :)

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Hope you like it.

Until the next time,

Sebastian

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Hi Sebastian,

again a very nice report and great pictures. :tu:

The landscape is awesome, these cloud forests are very interesting too and the last picture is also great, really a nice location. :dry:

Of course the Pinguicula pictures are great too, this species is really looking fantastic with this colouration of the leafes and the flowers are very nice too. :P

Good to know that this species is not really vulnerable because of the big number of plants.

How big are the biggest plants in diameter and what are the temperatures?

Some day i must visit this country too. :yes:

Thanks for sharing. :tu:

Best regards,

Dani

Edited by Daniel O.
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Absolutely stunning! Well done! Nice to see the orchids and a few ferns unique to this special area! Curious that there seems to be a conspicuous absence of Drosera species here, but I noticed something similar recently during last summer when I was in Norway, and got to visit some mountains that went beyond the tree line. For some strange reason, the Drosera seemed to sort themselves out into different areas, even though the sphagnum and other mosses were nearly identical, very few places had BOTH Drosera and Pinguicula species growing together. :sun_bespectacled: - Rich

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Wow, great pics Sebas!

You were lucky to see a whole bunch of P.involuta in flower, I only saw 3 I think, when I went in February 2004.

Hey Rich, supposedly D.peruensis grows around the Inca Trail too, but neither Sebastian or I saw it. This habitat is very similar to the one at the type location near Oxapampa, but neither Sebastian nor I saw it there either.

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Wahoo :sun_bespectacled:

That's Christmas or what? Thank you very much Sebastian for those 3 fantastic reports you have post since yesterday.

Pinguicula involuta has very nice coloured leaves and very nice flowers. Same question as Daniel, can you described a little more the climate there?

Edited by kisscool_38
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