A rare flower of the Atlantic Forest

Happy thanksgiving to those who live in the USA! Today, I am going back in time to recall a post I wrote a few months ago but never published, and an adventure I cherish.

On Aug 28, 2021, my sister and I joined a guided hike offered by Aluz Expediçōes through the trail “Monte de Milho” (Corn Mount or Bunch of Corn?). It was about a one-mile hike up going from 1,010 m to 1,651m through mostly exposed rocks. I felt as if I was free climbing rather than hiking. Anyway, on our way up, we saw a few rare orchids and other flowers, one of which is the main subject of the featured photograph: Worsleya rayneri (Hook.f.) Traub & Moldenke, commonly known as “Rabo de Galo” (Rooster’s Tail). The common name refers to the shape of the leaves.

Worsleya rayneri is endemic to the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro and its distribution is limited to the “Serra dos Órgãos” mountain range. It is, thus, a rare wildflower in nature. We were lucky to see it on that day. According to our guides, this plant flowers a little earlier in the season. I could have gotten a little closer but I was afraid of rolling down the exposed rock.

In the background a typical mountainous landscape in Southeastern Brazil, covered with Atlantic Rainforest elements and featuring the rarely absent thick haze that makes it very hard to photograph landscapes there.

21 thoughts on “A rare flower of the Atlantic Forest

  1. Steve Schwartzman says:

    It was a good find. I think I might have sat on the ground and taken the risk of carefully working my way below the orchids so I could shoot up at them, but maybe the slope was steeper than it looks and you were prudent not to take that risk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alessandra Chaves says:

      Somehow a discussion I was having with Steve in his blog jumped over here 🤔 and when I saw the out of place comments they didn’t make sense and I deleted them. I apologize it was my mistake. Thanks for your input.


      1. Steve Gingold says:

        The internet is full of mystery. By all means delete my political comment and this too if you wish.No apology necessary as it was not your doing. It won’t bother me that my thoughts won’t see the light of WordPress. 🙂


  2. shoreacres says:

    Like you, I would have refrained from trying to move to a position below the flower.The cleared area in front of the flowers suggests that someone might have tried that, and slid down the embankment. I’d be worried about damaging the plants — not to mention myself!

    The ‘rooster tail’ leaves certainly live up to that name; they’re as enjoyable as the flowers. My previous ophthalmologist did a good bit of traveling with a friend who spent years finding and photographing rare plants in Peru, Chile, Ecuador — all over. When Covid put an end to traveling, he’d been on the way to somewhere in the Pacific Islands. Your flowers reminded me of his journeys, and the way he would rave about finally finding one of those rare species. I know he would have enjoyed finding this one.


  3. howg2211 says:

    I have a fear of heights…..so I don’t think I would have been able to get nearly as close as you were. Many moons ago I used to raise orchids so I think this is a hike I would have enjoyed quite a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

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