Acostea species Cerro Azul, Panama

by Chuck Nishihira

At the top of Cerro Azul, near Panama City there is a very nice area that almost feels like a park. It is filled with smaller trees that seem old but are not very tall. The walking is easy and it makes for a nice peaceful day to walk around and photograph plants.  The mountain is high enough to get a lot of mist from clouds rolling in, but its apparent that the area goes through dry spells. There are not as many pleurothallids as you might expect and the ones you do find have older dried leaves. The nearby Cerro Jefe is the type locality for Pleurothallis dressleri, so I always have some hope to run across a large flowering specimen of that species. On this trip there was more hope, as I did find some Lepanthes species and this Acostea species. It could be A. costaricensis, but these minute flowered species are so hard to tell apart in the field.  It’s funny how they seem more attractive and deserving of attention when you see how they grow naturally.