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Author Topic: Night blooming Pitcairnia in Jalisco  (Read 679 times)
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sdandy
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« on: November 28, 2011, 18:49:19 »

Here is a plant that I have been waiting a while to see in bloom.  I have seen it in various stages of dormancy and fruit/seed the last several years, but I finally timed it right to see it bloom--well, sort of.  I hiked back in this area 3 days hoping to catch the flowers open, but I finally admitted that they were a night bloomer (and I had no interest in hiking that far out in the dark!).  They were pretty much always on the granite boulders.  There were at least a couple of other species of much smaller (but also deciduous) species on the boulders of the area and on some of the more well-drained slopes/ravines.  I haven't been able to find a name for this one yet.  There is a night blooming Pitcairnia loki-schmidtii in the general region, but the petals on this don't look wide enough to fit that.  That one I believe has flowers that open wide like the other night-blooming plant I showed.

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The spikes were actually quite tall.  I put a black dot on the end of two spikes so you can see them a little better:
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And no, I couldn't wait.  I had to pry open a flower to see the petal shape and get a better sense of the flower.  My guess is that it doesn't open wide, but rather just twists the ends of the petals open.
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 19:09:58 »

Ah, dug out some more photos.  Here are the same species last January.  The seed wasn't quite ripe this time.  It must have been around March/April when I got the seed a couple of years ago.

Neat seeing this spike that is still green coming straight out of/on top of these boulders when the leaves are gone!

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Lisa
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 19:13:39 »

So how long did you crouch there waiting for the flowers to open, Andy?   Didn't anyone ever tell you a watched pot never boils?   Wink
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 19:18:05 »

Ha ha.  I definitely didn't linger too long for a Pitcairnia (even when blooming)!  Not when I was on the hunt for random populations of U. tuitensis...much more exciting...they have real spines!  My friend wanted to get an 'action shot' of me...and you have to spice up Pitcairnias somehow, right?  Plus it give scale to show how tall the spikes were.  Some were probably close to 4' tall.
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 19:23:04 »

Well, that's a relief.  I had a mental picture of you sitting there for hours on end, getting cramps in your legs and trying to intimidate the flowers into submission with your steely gaze.   Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 21:11:40 »

Sir David Attenborough, eat your heart out!  Andy, thanks for another beaut study.  The "scale" picture works a treat - I did not realise it was anywhere near that tall, and that boulder pushing out a flower spike is a ripper.

Cheers, Paul
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