Loyd in Brazil

From: loyd.wix@talk21.com
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 15:02:09 PST

Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 23:02:09 GMT
From: loyd.wix@talk21.com
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg4014$foo@default>
Subject: Loyd in Brazil

Dear All,

And thanks in particular to Fernando for finding the time to write a
few paragraphs on our adventures arround Sao Paulo State. It's
probably worth while adding a few lines from a my perspective.

>I'm trying to catch up. Over a month ago, in early October, my
good friend from >England, Loyd Wix, was here in Sao Paulo for work.
Unfortunately he was only >here for around a week and very busy too.
But on Saturday and Sunday he was >free and I took him on a short CP
tour of the S.Paulo region.

First of all those that know me realise I travel fairly frequently
but mainly due to work. On such occasions I usually do little more
than see the airport, hotel and ice cream factory and that's about
it. As far as combining business trips and CP's, I once came across
some S.purpurea in a shopping centre in Madrid and I also spent
about 1 hour with Martin Zevenbergen at the University of
Wargeningen on another trip to the Netherlands. However I was
determined that having travelled all the way to Sao Paulo I would
have to catch up with Fernando.

>We started out by visiting a road called Caminho do >Mar which goes
right to the edge of teh coastal highlands on which S.Paulo >sits.
It's almost always foggy around there, which prevents one from
seeing the >magnificent view of the coast, but makes the area great
for CPs because of the >constant humidity.

However on our visit it was fairly sunny and around the middle of
the day. Now my skin colouration is a very nasty pasty off white
colour, in fact the palest a human body can get compared to me is a
corpse! As you would expect I have to be careful in the sun as I do
not tan I just turn lobster pink and I could feel that the sun was
much stronger than I am used to in England.

Question: Two local lads and a pale Gringo go CPing at mid day in
the full sun at Caminho do Mar -- who gets a sun burnt neck?

Answer: Fernando does! The pale pasty Gringo covers exposed areas
in babys factor 50 sun block with his slightly longer than collar
length hair providing additional protection.

>The D.villosa were looking nice and opening up their first
>flowers. Unfortunately not many Utrics were anywhere in sight, but
we did see >U.subulata, U.nervosa, U.reniformis, and I think some
U.tricolor leaves too. >Lucky Loyd was even blessed with the rare
(at that location at least) blooms of >U.reniformis. What a beauty
it is, I never get tired of it!

Well I certainly was not thinking \221unfortunately' when we only
found 4 Utrics and all these great big red Drosera. It was worth
going for the U.reniformis alone! What was interesting was this and
some of the other sites we visited are similar to what I know of as
acid heath land in the UK -- OK the plants are different but the
habitats are similar. The U.reniformis were beautiful and about the
same size as the large clone quite widely grown in the UK. These
Caminho flowers were somewhat neater, the raised corolla ridges
closer together and where as our clone in England has golden yellow
palate ridges, the colour on these Caminho plants was lemon yellow.
One thing that took some getting used to was Fernando asking me if I
had finished taking

 photos of one particular flower. When I said I had Fernando picked
 it and squashed it as a herbarium specimen! I could just see
 Fernando's eyes light up at the thought of squashing that 6 foot
 tall Aussie Drosera that was mentioned recently. It should however
 be remembered that the flower was transitory anyway, but now as a
 herbarium specimen will provide a long term record of this species
 at Caminho. However it provided a good teasing point as I
 suggested to Fernando that his plant squashing was some envy thing
 due to his cultivation short comings. Anyway from a horticultural
 point of view I didn't decline the offer of the ripe seedpod to
 take back to England with me. (Now happily many dozens of tiny ex
 Caminho -- now Northamptonshire U.renif

ormis seedlings!).

>After Paranapiacaba, we drove to

Fernando missed a bit! Actually we went to Marcellos house first
which gave us the opportunity to see his collection. Marcello had
quite a few U.nelumbifolia growing outside in his yard in little
polythene clad enclosures. Marcello is also into Cacti and he had
dozens of seedling plants from seed gathered on a previous trip to
Minas Gerais I think.

>the town of Mogi das Cruzes to visit a friend called Mauro Peixoto,
who has a >beautiful collection of native plants, including CPs.
His greenhouse was >bursting with orchids in flower, a magnificent
spectacle! We spent several >hours there and had a great time.

This was fascinating -- the humidity was high enough to allow little
micro orchids to grow on the branches of citrus trees in Mauro's
orchard, together with all sorts of exotic fruit bushes (stripped
bare of fruit by Fernando and I) plus coffee trees. There were all
sorts of the weird and wonderful things in Mauro's green house
including the dried snake's skin shed and draped over several pots
of orchids. \221What's this Mauro? -- \221Oh that's from the large
yellow and brown snake that lives in here -- its OK it doesn't bite'
was Mauro reply. Fernando liken this to dog owners who swear their
beloved pets don't bite either. In a green house full of plants
your imagination is left to run riot as you choose to size the
options of

the snake appearing at your ankles, or coming face to face with it
when inspecting the vanilla orchid. In terms of CP I had been
intrigued by photos I had been flicking through in the car earlier
in the morning. Flowers of U.amethystina from Fumas (I think)
seemed to have an extra long lower corolla apron that appeared to be
in two halves. By examining the pictures from various angles, this
appearance seemed to be due to an abnormality in the spur of the
flower where two spurs had been formed but were fused and flattened.
As this \221double spur' projects beneath the lower corolla lobe
looking like an extension to it when viewing the flowers from the
front. Outside of Mauro's greenhouse were two circular concrete
tubes planted out with CPs one

of them being this \221double spurred' U.amethystina -- absolutely
cracking! I was particularly excited, as I had managed to germinate
some of the seed of this particular plant and although I havn't been
luck with this species previously these seedling are growing quite
strongly at the moment.

>In fact just before his house, there is a pond full of the aquatic
U.foliosa and U.gibba. >Neither was in flower however.

Not to mention the noisy birds and the half rat/half beaver creature
that was swimming around and there was the hummingbirds and
the\205\205 Well its getting off topic but Mauro lives in a very
interesting environment.

>The following day I picked up >Loyd again at his hotel and then we
met Marcelo and Mauro at Mogi das Cruzes. >We headed to Campos do
Jordao, a city way up on the Mantiqueira Highlands, at >about 1600m
altitude. It's about 3h from S.Paulo and is a famous holiday spot
>during winter, where people go to when they wanna freeze their buns
off, eat >cheese fondue, and pretend they're in the Swiss Alps.
Loyd was even surprised >to see fields with many familiar flowers
from his homecountry.

This place is real Brazilian Cuckoo Clock country, Swiss chalets,
Octoberfest adverts absolutely incredible. There was this one point
wandering through this meadow with all sorts of plants similar to
those that grow on my parents small holding where Mauro points at
the ground. I move forward to see what it is as Mauro utters the
words Dandelion -- I've come thousand of miles to see exotic things
and here we are in a field half way up a mountain looking at
dandelions -- incredible!

>Anyways, before we arrived in the city, we stopped to explore a wet
rock wall >by the road. The place was really great for CPs, but all
we found was >U.hispida. This is only one of the most common
Brazilian species, so I wasn't >too thrilled. Yet Loyd is a
Lentibulariaceae fan and was really please with it. >And I have to
admit it was a very colorful form of this plant, with red sepals
>and a brighter-than-usual yellow flower. Yet the most interesting
thing about >that U.hispida in my viewpoint was that the long scapes
were growing directly >on the rock wall. I had never seen it in
this sort of habitat before.

Yes I was absolutely frilled with this. We expected to see it at
Camhino but without flowers and having grass like leaves it would be
virtually impossible to find. The corolla was two-toned yellow with
a thin grey line separating the two different regions of yellow,
this and the red colouration made this a very attractive plant. But
no ripe seed pods -- blast!

>Our next CP stop was just at the entrance of Campos do Jordao,
where many years ago >(1991?) I had seen D.communis and D.montana
var.montana. I wasn't really >expecting to see the latter since it
was late in the dry season and it usually >goes completely dormant.
But we did find several small rosettes, wine-red in >color as usual.
Southern and southeastern Brazil are not as dry as central and
>northeastern Brazil (where D.m.var.montana also occurs), and
apparently it goes >dormant less often in the south and hangs on a
bit longer into the dry season >too. We also saw some D.communis in
the area, but not nearly as much as I had >seen earlier in the
decade, which was strange since it doesn't go dormant at >all.

Yet again we were looking for CP in areas of human disturbance along
a railway line. We did check out a small waterfall and stream. We
found a few more Drosera in boggy ground close to the stream where
Fernando managed to find a particularly boggy part to try and stand
in. Anyway by the time we got back to car we all had a reasonable
amount of reddish brown mud on us, Fernando rather more than the
rest of us. When we got in the car it soon became apparent that
something was wrong. Although I cannot speak Portugese I managed to
pick up something about dog ****, then in English Fernado suggests
we check our boots. The car absolutely stank! Now bearing in mind
we had been plodding round the boggy margins of a stream and were
covered in 20mud anyway, it might be hard to tell the difference
between mud and dog **** anyhow! Then in conversation Mauro is
suggesting it is the red mud that smells and thus the reason the car
smells so badly is that Fernando is covered in the stuff -- thus
Fernando smells -- charming! A few hours later after the smell had
subsided or after we got used to it, the offending dogs poo was
found located on one of the floor mats -- thus we could no longer
blame poor old Fernando!

>From there we went to Itapeva Peak, the highest in the area at
>2030m. On the road to this peak, there is a great CP site which
was the single >reason why I had chosen to take Loyd to Campos do
Jordao. It is the closest >place to Sao Paulo city where one can
see wild Genlisea. And not just any >species, but G.aurea, one of
the most magnificent and unique in the whole >genus!

What a treat! The location was on the edge of a lake where what I
can only describe as a sphagnum bog occurred. G.aurea really is a
fantastic species - and here was a bog full of them and loads of
flowers too. However I was really fascinated by the rosettes where
the leaves were so tightly packed together they reminded me of
certain Mexican Pinguicula rosettes -- particularly those forms of
P.moranensis et al which produce semi-buried winter rosettes
composed of many small succulent leaves.

>Hopefully Loyd will be able to return to S.Paulo for work in the
near >future and have another free weekend so we can show him some
other interesting >sites around S.Paulo or farther away. Right
Loyd?!?! Best Wishes,

I certainly hope so, in which case I hope my presence continues to
bring good luck. Anyway thanks to Fernando, Marcello and Mauro for
a fantastic weekend out in the wilds of Sao Paulo, they are a great
bunch of guys. The memories of that weekend will be with me for a
long time to come.



-------------------- talk21 your FREE portable and private address
on the net at http://www.talk21.com

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jan 02 2001 - 17:32:08 PST