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Drosophyllum lusitanicum wild in South-West Portugal

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Hi all,

Earlier this month I travelled to the Algarve and visited some Drosophyllum populations.

In total I visited 5 Drosophyllum populations, 2 in the Algarve and the others a bit more to the north.

We rent a car for 2 days in Albufeira. The first day we had a 2 hour drive to the north to a Drosophyllum location near Santiago do Cacem. This was a very good starter, because it appeared to the best location of the trip! This location is a south facing slope with very open vegetation. It spreads linear on the slope for about 500 meters. Its a beautiful population with thousands of plants. Mostly single plants, but also dense Drosophyllum bushes covering several square meters. There where also some plants growing 70 cm tall through bushes. I think they where growing up in the same speed...so Drosophyllum had enough light all the time.

Pictures say much more then words: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78014171@N05/sets/72157644879046084/

After this location we drove 30 minutes to the south to a village called Foros da Pereira. There’s a Drosophyllum population in a Eucalyptus forest. Plants there were smaller then the ones on the previous location. They also had less direct sunlight. There’s a clearing in the forest where most plants grow.
Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78014171@N05/sets/72157644863714291/

It was already later in the afternoon but we had just enough time to visit one more location that day. There’s another location after 10 minutes drive.
Plants were growing along a fire lane on a steep west-facing slope. It turned out to be a very steep and risky trail, but is was worth the visit. Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78014171@N05/sets/72157644879402124/

The next day we drove to a village called Espinhaco de Cao. Here are 2 locations very close to each other. The first sublocation is a very nice and big population, containing several smaller plants in Eucalyptus forest and some huge plants in a clearing just outside the forest. There even was a single plant with 10+ growth points!! Fantastic location. Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78014171@N05/sets/72157644464442437/

Also the 2nd sublocation is well worth the visit. There were some nice plants growing in the open spaces of the forest on both sides of a sand road. Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78014171@N05/sets/72157644865710341/

The last population is on the top of a mountain in Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. I had high expectations of this location, because I was told that this location contains very big Drosophyllum plants.
It was a bit of a search to find this location in “no-mans-land”, but we succeeded. But a sad story: This area is destroyed by fire, I think last year. The old burned multi-branching stems of Drosophyllum where still visible, and there were a lot of them! There must have been big plants here. I found about 10 adult or nearly adult plants remaining there. One was flowering. But the good news: There were thousands of seedlings there, I think they germinated last autumn or winter after the fire. So the fire gave new life to Drosophyllum. Fire is not always that bad... Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78014171@N05/sets/72157644820992666/



Edited by TheCarnifreak
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  • 3 weeks later...

Great pictures! Gives a very good idear of the habitat! And a very nice part of Europe I still have to visit. Springtime is the best time there. Lots of other nice wildflowers there as well!

Finding those plants in the wild should not be that difficuld. When you get the placename of a nearby village, the type of vegetation and geology, and Google Earth you can find them without any doubt.

Well I had it with another plant, Trachycarpus takil in India. I had never been to that area before but went to the are in April, 2010. Before arriving in the nearby town Munsyari I saw allready 2 specemims along the road. And the next day I asked a local guy and showed him some pictures. He know exactly where there where many. Well this was in a much more remote area and only very few Westerners have seen this palm in the wild! So you are in a nearby village and just ask the locals and show some pictures. Drosophyllum was, and maybe still is used to catch flies. Just a local sort of flypaper. And when you speak a bit of Portugese that would make it even easier.


For a start look here, including the local name pinheiro-baboso or erva-pinheira-orvalhada. Local names are always usefull when asking the locals...





Edited by Alexander Nijman
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Well... but you can´t find Drosophyllum in every pinewood or eucalypt plantation , so you need to know more information like the geology, so its not very easy in my opinion to find these plants in the first time you search eehehe, i tried 2 times and i cant find them eheh , i only have saw P.lusitanica in Sintra and they were in slant with a lot of vegetation covering them

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I had found the name atrapamoscas also for Drosophyllum on the internet. But its not uncommon that one common name is used for several (carnivorous) plants. Only with the scientific name you get the real species you are searching. But not all people know those names.



Edited by Alexander Nijman
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