Jump to content

U. quelchii on Mt Roraima

Recommended Posts

It is about one year ago that I climbed Mt Roraima.

When I was looking again through my photo's I noticed that the flowers of U. quelchiii on this mountain did not only differ in color, but also strongly in shape (perhaps also in size).

As hypotized earlier, hybridisation with U. campbelliana is a likely cause for this, although I have only seen U. campbelliana's during the cliimb, were U. quelchii was rare. At the top of the mountain U. quelchii was a relative common flower. The majority of the U. quelchii plants were baring just a single flower at their stalks though at least one plant was having two flowers and a young flower bud.

I have put some of my U. quelchii photo's in a single frame for a good comparison.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi John,

I have seen U. campbelliana on top of Roraima, so hybridization would theoretically be possible.

But I have seen no intermediate forms, and for me your pics above all show pure U. quelchii, just in the range of natural variation.

Anyway, nice flowers !



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, really cool variation!!

U.campbelliana is not as common as U.quelchii at the top of Roraima, but it's definitely there, growing in very wet areas as an epiphyte on short trees/bushes and in cracks on rocks.

Thanks for the pics!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

It has been a while ago that I visited mt Roraima, so some things I am not 100% sure anymore. But as far as I can see from my pictures it was not the exposure to sunlght that caused the color differences in U. quelchii. Remember that there is in general not too much cover, so most sites are quite exposed to the sunlight though a few of the grew just below the summit in low vegetation. The deepest red flower I found was growing in the valley of the cristals, so perhaps some minerals from the soil play a  role in the coloration of the  plants. Below is a photo of the most extensive site with U. quelchii, you can see that there seems to be quite some difference in coloration.


I don't remember the temperature,  but it was not uncomfortable so probably about 15C.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice pictures!


Well, the valle de los cristales contains mostly of quartz, that is a mineral that will have the least effect to the soil, in mineral content. Except the fact that iron will be low in such soils. I am quite sure in between that low night temps in combination with high UV radiation play a major role. Both factors go along with altitude.

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...