In June we flew to the Colombian Pacific Coastal department of Chocó to search for representatives of RBGE focus families Sapotaceae, Gesneriaceae, Zingiberaceae and Begoniaceae. The team comprised students from Universidad Distrital: Dayana Sanchez, Alejandra Chaparro and Miriam Reina and we were hosted by the Pacific Botanic Garden (jardinbotanicodelpacifico.org) that is located a short boat ride from the town of Bahia Solano. The short trip allowed us to assess the vegetation and collect in the Nature Reserve that has been created by the Botanic Garden. Gesneriaceae were particularly rich with close to 20 species collected aided by our Embera guide Antonio whose phenomenal knowledge of the local flora made our job much easier.
Drymonia sp. (Gesneriaceae)
The bay is famous as a breeding site for whales although we arrived just before they did so were unable to see them. The Chocó is the second wettest place on earth and during our stay we experienced some extremely violent and spectacular thunderstorms one of which kept us awake for pretty much an entire night!
Collecting along the river.
Miriam with technical assistant.
A mangrove resident.
RBGE continues to explore poorly studied regions in Colombia to enhance our knowledge of the most biodiverse places on earth.