Tag Archives: Plants

Paramo plants

While traveling along the Pan-American Highway through the mountains of Costa Rica, we often stop near Cerro de la Muerte to take a short hike through the unique Paramo habitat. The habitat is >3,000 masl and is substantially drier than the cloud forest below, so the plants are quite unique (and short). I often photograph a few of the flowers with the intention of later identification… but I rarely get around to it. So, here are a few from 2019 and 2016.

Shrub-maritime communities

Shrub-to-maritime communities at the upland portion of the Little Tybee Island marsh complex, including a brackish slough. Salt spray and saltwater intrusion may be responsible for dwarfed growth of some of the trees, including some of the pine (Pinus sp.), live oak (Quercus sp. ) and Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana).

Spanish moss seed

Whenever introducing land plants to students, I emphasize Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) as neither Spanish—it looks like a bearded conquistador—nor moss—it’s an angiosperm or flowering plant. Here’s the proof: wind-dispersed seeds protected by a recently split, dried pod. Mosses lack flowers, fruits, and seeds.

Also evident are the flaky trichomes, which help the plant to soak up moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere. It’s not parasitic like mistletoe nor do the live, hanging bunches contain chiggers.