A few In Situ Orchids in Costa Rica (Picture Heavy)

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musiclovertony

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I recently returned from a family vacation in the town of Samara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. It's a delightful place we've visited many times and to which we'll, no doubt, return.

The Samara area is in an area of mostly secondary growth tropical dry forest. There is a moist growing season from May-November, where rain can be expected almost every afternoon/evening. From December-April is the dry season. There can be weeks or months with no rain during the dry season. The forests are deciduous, here, losing their leaves in the dry season.

The orchids I saw were all epiphytes (besides the African, invasive Oeceoclades maculata). I also saw several different bromeliads. The most common orchid I saw was Brassavola Nodosa. It seemed to grow everywhere it could get a root-hold! I saw it growing 3 feet up the trunk on palm trees in full sun. I saw it growing 40 feet up in the branches of Guanacaste trees in dappled sun. I saw it growing 2 feet up in mangrove root/branches in both full and dappled sun. I even saw a couple plants growing lithophytically on cliff-faces. I also saw a couple dormant Catasetum in the crotches of Guanacaste trees. These plants were growing at sea level. Many of the Brassavola nodosa were growing in places where there's little doubt they would get ocean spray during high tide/high wind times. Most of the orchids had seed pods present.

Being that my family is not very outdoors oriented, I didn't get a chance to do much exploring beyond a few hikes to the headlands at either end of the beach and a canopy zip-line tour. When we were in the taxi on the way to and from the airport, I saw huge numbers of epiphytes in many of the mature trees in the pastures and along the rivers and streams. I wish I could have stopped and taken more pictures...some of the trees had so many plants growing on them that one could barely see any of the bark!!



















 

NYEric

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Beautiful fotos and I like the seed pods! :D Thanx for sharing, too bad you couldn't get your family more interested to do some exploring.
 
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etex

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WOW!! Awesome seeing the orchids in their habitat!! And such large specimens!! Beautiful scenery!! I bet you had a great time! Welcome back!
 

arcticshaun

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Nice to see something different from the snow outside my door. Those seed pods do add an extra dimension to the plants in the wild. My family is going to Jamaica in March, hopefully a few local orchids are blooming then.

Shaun
 

Candace

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Very cool. When I was in Costa Rica about 5 years ago the only orchid I saw had fallen off the tree and was laying on the walkway. The people I was with weren't into orchids either so I didn't have the chance to go searching for them.
 

Scooby5757

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I have wonderful memories of walking along the beach in Costa Rica, going out to a small "island" 1-20 yards offshore, and the whole South side was covered in B nodosa. Here you show it by the shore as well, they certainly must be tolerant to salt sprays. The leaves with thick and chunky like these too. :) Im jealous, I wanna go back!
 

KyushuCalanthe

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Looks like a slice of paradise, thanks for the shots! It is nice to know that B. nodosa is such a weed there. If I were to go to a country like Costa Rica and be forced to remain in a bus, I think I'd go insane...that or I'd end up jumping out the window...wild horses couldn't keep me away!
 
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andre

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Great pics.!
We are heading down to a small town on the coast in West of Costa Rica in a month. We hope to see some orchids in bloom. We rented a car so we are planning on going up to the cloud forests to try our luck. We are from Vancouver BC and can't wait to escape the rain and short days of Winter.
andre
 

NYEric

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There's a great book about CR orchids and the cloud forest but I can't remember the author. :( I think it was linked to this site.
 

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