I had one more photo from Costa Rica that I was saving, and it’s a cactus, of course. I wouldn’t end this series on an orchid. That would be silly.
We found this while driving through mountainous farm country. These are a good fruiting cactus, so it seem like a good plant to plant along your horse-pen fence. They’re usually epiphytic, but this one does have a root into the ground, and lots of air roots holding it onto the fence post.
I love the concept of the color Chartreuse, it’s not yellow, it’s green, but really, it’s mostly yellow.
Wikipedia calls this particular shade “Traditional Chartreuse”. Orchids come in so many colors, I think wikipedia should define their colors by the orchid blooms. That’s what I think. I’m totally serious, too.
Endemic to the Cordillera Central of Costa Rica… at ca. 2500-3430 m. It is an important component of the ericaceous scrub on the crater rim of Volcán Irazú and is abundant in the otherwise nearly barren areas of volcanic ash. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.
They distinguish the Comarostaphylis from the Arctostaphylos by the
The papillate fruit surface of Comarostaphylis unambiguously distinguishes it from the smooth-fruited Arctostaphylos.
Now we know the difference, and we can all go out and distinguish them ourselves.
We knew we would see lots of orchids up in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, epiphytic orchids of all types, and many of them in bloom. We didn’t know there would be so many ground orchids in the hotter and drier areas.
Epidendrum radicans is a fairly common orchid through Central America. This was near Arenal Volcano. Everyone visits the volcano. This is also extremely similar to the Epidendrum ibaguense, a hardy terrestrial orchid we are carrying at the nursery.
This is the most common rhipsalis in all of Central America. We only found a couple specimens in Costa Rica. It’s a pendulous epiphyte with cylindrical forking branches. I should copyright that sentence. It’s known as the mistletoe cactus because it gets covered in little white fruits. It likes moist lowland forests, not too moist.
They’re very successful grown in hanging baskets on your front porch, preferably getting an hour or two of morning sun.
Up to this point on our trip in Costa Rica we had seen only a few scraggly cactus high up in the canopy on the trails in the jungle national parks. Here we were driving along a country road through farms and over hills, and BAM there was this tree covered with jungle cacti and lots of bright red tillandsias too.
This is quite the site to see. I wonder how long the tree can survive with that much weight on it? Strong trunk, I suppose.
Colorful isn’t it? It’s a Tillandsia. Actually, there’s more than one, but only one is blooming. There are so many tillandsia species in Central America that it would take a tillandsia expert to be able to identify them.
Don’t you wish we could have collected some from the wild and brought them back to Berkeley and propagated them and then offered them to the public? That’s what used to happen out in the world not that long ago, but no more.
Back in Costa Rica, we were trundling along looking up in the trees for more jungle cacti, maybe an Epiphyllum or two, some lovely orchids in bloom and all, and then boom, what did we see?
I can’t be sure of the ID, but this fruiting plant in the nightshade family with broad fuzzy purple leaves is one of our favorites at the nursery. Technically it’s no succulent, of course, but it is drought tolerant and we’ve planted it alongside our turtle pond too.
This orchid was way high up in the trees. I tried my best to use my superzoom lens, but without a tripod this is the best I was able to get. Not bad. But then the other shots were all way out of focus, so this was the only one that even came close.
Plus we were running from a pack of cotamundis at the same time.
This is a really large terrestrial bromeliad we came upon in the Costa Rican jungle. About 10ft. across. I think this was near the Arenal volcano when we took a side trail to find a bombax that we never found. I wonder how long that outcropping will last.
I like me some peperomias. This large leafed succulent was climbing this tree and was up over 10 ft. high. They can root in the ground or be completely epiphytic, as they vine their way into the clouds.
The photos from Costa Rica keep coming, and it turns out I shot a lot of orchids. Maybe I’ll stop doing these posts from our trip every day. Maybe only once a week? They’ll last all year if I do that. Fair warning.
Anyway, this cone of flowers was about a foot tall and I counted the tiny blooms and there were 3,026.
Today’s Costa Rican plant is an orchid. And there’s that wonderful yellow-green color that could lead one to call this orchid species by a name like viridis. But don’t even try, cause the orchid collectors will complain that you don’t know what you’re talking about. They do that you know.