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Fernando Rivadavia

U.heterochroma in habitat

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Hello everyone,

Andreas F. is currently in S Venezuela on what will certainly be a fantastic CP expedition. Not wanting to ruin his surprises(don't get mad at me Andreas, this is the only species I will reveal, OK?? :) ), he told me one of the species he found is the ultra-bizarre U.heterochroma.

I also found this species on my December 2002/ January 2003 expedition to Venezuela but have only posted a few pics from this trip because I did not have a digital camera back then, and would thus have to scan everything -- what a bore! :)

But now I've decided to post my few and crappy pics of U.heterochroma quickly before Andreas gets back and posts his wonderful pictures -- I'd be too embarassed to post mine after seeing his, hahaha!

So please excuse the bad scans of horrible pics taken in adverse situations including rain, wind and through a dirty helicopter window!! :)

So anyways, U.heterochroma was only found on what we were told was Traamén Tepui, but which some people seem to call Ilu Tepui. This tepui has a small upper plateau at ~2800m altitude, which is flat, windswept, cold, foggy, rocky, and with only isolated islands of vegetation. This is also the type location of H.elongata. This is what Ilu/Traamén looked like as we were flew around it:

Ilu1.jpg

Notice in the pic above that there is a larger secondary plateau (~2200m altitude) beneath the small upper one. We landed on both plateaus and it was actually on the lower one that we found U.heterochroma.

This is what the upper plateau looked like as we were taking off from it (see how small it is on top!):

Ilu3.jpg

And here's a view of H.elongata on the upper plateau (it was also present on the lower plateau, but didn't seem to have such large pitchers, if I remember well).

Ilu4b.jpg

This is a view of the U.heterochroma habitat on the lower plateau of Ilu/ Traamén, where we also saw H.elongata, G.roraimensis, and D.roraimae:

Ilu52ndaryplateau.jpg

U.heterochroma was growing in water-logged sand. Its red coffee-bean shaped-leaves on long petioles were covering the ground in a small area.

UheterochromaIlu02.jpg

Although several of their red scapes were present, only one open flower was seen. Can you spot it below? :)

UheterochromaIlu01.jpg

The flower was beautiful!!! About the size of U.subulata, it was a mixture of white, golden-yellow and pinkish-red. Maybe you'll be able to see this in the out-of-focus pics below, hehehe!

UheterochromaIlu03.jpg

UheterochromaIlu04.jpg

UheterochromaIlu05.jpg

And I think that in the next picture I accidentally captured a drop of nectar at the base of the spur!

UheterochromaIlu06.jpg

Below you can see a picture of the strange traps with black mouths:

UheterochromaIlu08.jpg

And strangest of all to me was that the stolons, petioles, leaves and traps were often covered with hairs!!!!!! You can see these hairs on the petiole to the left as well as on the small trap growing from the leaf in the pic below:

UheterochromaIlu07.jpg

I hope you have enjoyed what I believe are the 1st pictures of U.heterochroma in the wild. In case you didn't, I'm sure Andreas will have better ones for you soon!! ;)

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia

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Great information Fernando - really interesting pic of the stolons, it makes me look forward to seeing the field reports from Andreas and Martins trips even more now!

Its nice to see a picture of the tepui too, we often see pictures of the plants but its also nice to see shots of the habitat too.

Thanks for posting :laugh:

Heather

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Haha Fernando, now you spoiled one of Andrea's surprises. Thanks for sharing those interesting pictures. I wonder when will I have the chance to go and explore Venezuela.

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Hell Fernando

Thank you for these great but fuzzy pictures. :laugh: Hope this plant will be in culture soon.Can´t wait to see the pictures of Andreas.

Regards Alexander

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Hi Fernando,

thanks for the pictures (even if they are not your best pictures, haha :laugh: ), it really seems to be a very nice species.

I like the Tepui pictures as well, what an interesting small plateau. :wink:

Best regards,

Dani

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The stolons look so different from any utric I've ever seen! The flower is a beauty too!

Great pics.

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