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Author Topic: Ursulaea tuitensis  (Read 826 times)
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sdandy
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« on: April 08, 2011, 16:53:22 »

So I was finally able to find Ursulaea tuitensis in its native habitat on about the fourth or fifth attempt.  I was forewarned by some that they look a little rough and much smaller in habitat than the ones in our collections...and boy were they right.  We were on a tight schedule (as is always a problem and definitely prevented me from seeing them in the previous tries) and just found this single boulder just at about the time that we needed to turn around and return to meet up with a friend.  It was not far from the namesake city/town El Tuito sitting in a moderately steep ravine.  It was the only boulder within sight that they had colonized and were primarily only growing where there was moss established.

Growing with other epiphytes/lithophytes like a long, thin cactus, a Pitcairnia, ferns, anthuriums, and agaves these were clearly the dominant plant along with the moss.  Apparently they will occasionally grow on trees as well, but they are known as boulder growers.  The ones in the most light seemed to be a yellow color as opposed to the red (which the one in my garden is yellowish right now too as I just planted it out into full sun for the first time this winter).  And I was also lucky enough to have timed it right to find several plants in bloom...a nice little bonus!

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That long thin snaking between the tuitensis is the cactus.
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Here you can see the long, thin cactus a little closer.
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Lisa
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 18:36:50 »

I suppose technically you could call them bryophytes rather than lithophytes, since the moss seems to be an important element here.  Interesting niche.  About how wide of a range do they have, do you know?  Amazing to think about the amount of time it would take for a species to develop, and yet still be found only under very specific conditions within a few square miles or whatever.  What type of anthurium grows in this location? 
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 20:19:36 »

I think it is Anthurium hookeri?  Not sure exactly, but it can get big and horsey without a fancy bloom.  This is the best picture of one that I can find quickly in my albums...
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The range on U. tuitensis I think is surprisingly large.  I think I read somewhere that it ranges up into Nayarit and even into southern Durango (but not quite so sure about that now that I've typed it).  It does seem very selective in it habit, but I've heard of much wider 'colonies' with some even growing as epiphytes on some trees...which I would love to see!

Here are a couple more shots to give an idea of the size of some of them and the more yellow tones.
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And here's my yellow guy in my garden.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2011, 12:43:08 »

Andy,

The Androlopsis tuitensis photos look good.

Here is a good article on Anthurium hookeri, a lot of birds nest anthuriums look similar with a quick glance:

http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Anthurium%20hookeri%20pc.html

Rick
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2011, 17:17:06 »

Thanks Rick.  I find it hard to get too excited about Anthuriums....especially that one.  But definitely a cool plant and looks great where it grows.  I imagine it would be described as a 'tough', sturdy, and easy-to-grow plant compared to some of the pretty flowering hybrids. 
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