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Venezuelan Aroids

Hello, Aroiders.

Just last night, I got back from three weeks in Venezuela.  I would like 
to report a little bit on the Aroids I saw there.

Unfortunately, I was only able to make one short trip into the cloud 
forest in the Cordillera de Merida.  However, while there, I saw that the 
epiphytic Anthurium (I believe it may have been A. nymphaeifolium) was in 
bloom, with pink and red spathes.  A terrestrial Anthurium was not in 

I spent two weeks in the dry forest of southwestern Barinas State.  
There, I saw an abundance of Philodendron (likely P. fraternum) and 
Syngonum, and lesser numbers of Monstera, whose local common name is "Tripa 
de Pollo"--chicken-guts.  None of these were in bloom, except possibly for 
one Philodendron plant.

To get from Merida to the site in Barinas, I traveled through Tachira via 
San Cristobal.  Along the highways, especially near settlements, were 
colonies of Xanthosoma, possibly escaped from gardens (Tannia).  Colocasia 
(Taro) was much more rarely seen.  In the Cordillera de Merida, many ravines 
in villages had blooming Zantedeschia aethiopica, known as "Flower of the 
Dead," and presumably planted for ornamental purposes.

I have not yet had time to have my photos developed, but when they are, I 
will see which ones have come out.  In the meantime, I have a question 
for those of you who are also members of the Heliconia society.  In Barinas 
State was an abundant pasture "weed" which had the classic Heliconia-type 
leaf, but growing a branching stem and with a panicled inflorescence.  Any 
ideas what it was? Or will I have to wait for my pictures?

Jason Hernandez

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