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?