Fernando Rivadavia Lopes (ferndriv@cat.cce.usp.br)
Wed, 31 May 1995 00:14:12 -0300 (EST)

Dear Joachim,

Lots of people have asked me about U.nelumbifolia. For those of
you who are not familiar with this species, it is one of the largest
Utrics in the world and is native to highlands of southeastern Brazil, in
the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Espirito Santo. Like its
close cousin, the famous U.humboldtii from the Roraima Highlands,
U.nelumbifolia grows inside the tanks of bromeliads. Only it seems to grow
exclusively in this kind of habitat, while U.humboldtii can also be found
in boggy areas, growing in soil. U.nelumbifolia has large, round peltate
leaves. U.reniformis is another large member of this group (section
Iperua). This species grows in southern and southeastern Brazil and
supposedly can also be found growing inside bromeliads together with
U.nelumbifolia. There is one other large member in this group,
U.geminiloba, which has a small distribution mainly in the state of Rio de
Janeiro. Last of all, is the small U.nephrophylla, also endemic to this
I've seen U.reniformis innumerous times in the wild, with leaves
and flowers large enough to rival the claims that U.humboldtii is the
largest species in the genus. I only tried to locate U.nelumbifolia once
in the wild. I went to the Organs Range in the state of Rio de Janeiro,
where I knew they'd been collected in the past. Unfortunately though, I
couldn't locate any, though I fussed inside many a bromeliad! I did find
U.reniformis, but none inside bromeliads (which I've never seen). I also
saw U.geminiloba for the first time in the wild. Though Rio de Janeiro is
not that far from where I live in Sao Paulo (in relation to the places I
normally travel to in search of CPs in Brazil), I haven't yet returned to
try and locate U.nelumbifolia again, though it's always on my mind.
Over a year ago I contacted a bromeliad specialist in Rio de
Janeiro who promised to take me to see U.nelumbifolia at the Organs Range,
claiming he knew various sites and that a friend of his was even
cultivating this species in his bromeliads. Well, I've been waiting ever
since! Who knows, hopefully I'll get a chance to go there this year and
search on my own. Then I'll also hop down to the beaches and search for
U.nephrophylla (which I've never seen in the wild) plus the D.intermedia
which were discovered on the coast of this state. And get a nice tan too,
of course!

Sao Paulo, Brazil

P.S. Thanks Joachim, but my announcement worked out very well and I've
received various offers of both U.humboldtii and Aldrovanda.