(By Noah Elhardt and Forbes Conrad, , 2006

(All pictures by Noah Elhardt and Forbes Conrad)



My feet making crunching noises as I stepped on brown fallen oak leaves the size of dinner plates, I scanned the downward slope for Pinguicula flowers. AHA! There's one!









Just off-white and with somewhat forward-pointing petals, P. parvifolia flowers are quite different than the others we had seen here so far - P. moranensis and P. oblongiloba. The first flower I found eminated from a cluster of plants on a hillock of granite.

Some of these plants, we noted, were maroon. Most of the plants on the slope, however, were a dark green with a hint of reddish coloration.










The plants were densley scattered across the forest floor, especially wherever the ground was elevated slightly to form a mound or bank. The plants were growing in clay soil or moss on granite (?) outcroppings. Most of the mature plants had ripening seed pods, and the flowering season seemed to be well underway, possibly already at its tail end - few buds were to be found.



The flower itself has a white to purplish center with petals which are white or tinged purple. The interior of the corolla tube is thickly covered in hairs, as is the lower petal.



An atypical flower with six petals!

In several flowers I noted a pollinator - a miniature beetle! As far as I could tell, there were at least two species of beetles pollinating the flowers. Upon exiting, however, they always quickly dropped from the flower and disappeared, making photographing them difficult. Here's the best I've got:






*Due to technical difficulties, Forbes' pictures are unavailable for this site. Sorry for the lack of photos, especially of the habitat overview... I wasn't paying much attention that day I guess and mainly took flower pictures and shots of the neighboring orchids *


Noah Elhardt and Forbes Conrad