We were delighted to be able to meet in the hall again on 10 September and very much enjoyed Caroline Seymour’s talk about the AGS trip to Ecuador in 2018.
Apologies to Caroline and members who attended that we encountered problems with the projector not connecting to the laptop. However, after a good catch up over tea, coffee and biscuits and the chance to buy members’ plants and produce we settled down to hear Caroline’s fascinating talk.
In “Flowers from the Avenue of Volcanoes” Caroline took us on a journey through 6 floral zones, each at different elevations. Starting with the cloud forest at 2000m, we discovered the dense vegetation and moist and hot climate. Exotic-looking and colourful blooms include Heliconias, Guzmania and Bomarea, alongside equally colourful birds including hummingbirds and Trogons.
In contrast, the grass Paramo at 3000-4500m is home to Espeletia hartwegiana, with its protective woolly leaves and yellow daisy flowers, and Eryngium humile, with a rosette of leaves growing close to the ground.
At 4600m high, the conditions are cold and very exposed and ground hugging plants include fleshy-leaved Baccharis cespitosa and Pentacalia chimborazensis.
Caroline has been a member of the AGS for about 35 years and is currently the Chair of the Dorset Group of the AGS. She has always loved travel and has joined several plant-hunting tours to South America.
We all really enjoyed hearing about this region, new to the audience, and discovering its beautiful flora and fauna. The committee have since tested the projector and are confident that we will be able to run our October talk without any technical hiccups!
Espeletia hartwegiana at 3870m