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Research and Conservation in Southern Sonora, Mexico

Bromeliads and Tropical Orchids, Mostly Epiphytes

Flowering epiphytes are a major component of tropical forests and are rare or absent in other biomes. They require high humidity, good air movement, and (usually) absence of freezing temperatures. (Some epiphytes grow in habitats with very low rainfall, but the humidity is high almost all year.) The tropical deciduous forest of southern Sonora is the northern extreme of this biotic community. Epiphyte diversity is low due to the long dry season and occasional frosts. Nearly all of the species are northern outliers of common, widespread species. Most of them grow primarily on trees over the majority of their ranges; in Sonora they tend to switch to a saxicolous habit. See below for a detailed discussion of the orchids.

There are about ## terrestrial orchids in Sonora. These are mainly of temperate origin. They tend to be difficult to locate and identify, and are poorly studied. A few that we have encountered are included here.

Species Accounts
ORCHIDACEAE - ORCHID FAMILY
Bletia purpurea
Brassavola cucullata
Cyrtopodium punctatum
Encyclia adenocarpon
Guarianthe (Cattleya) aurantiaca
Laelia eyermaniana
Oncidium cebolleta
Stanhopea maculosa

Terrestrial orchids

BROMELIACEAE - PINEAPPLE FAMILY
Tillandsia achyrostachys
Tillandsia capitata
Tillandsia caput-medusae
Tillandsia cretacea
Tillandsia elizabethae
Tillandsia erubescens
Tillandsia exserta

Terrestrial bromeliads

Orchids of Northwestern Mexico

by Richard S. Felger and Mark A. Dimmitt
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