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From the Field Column

From the Field Printable Version

The Portuguese Sundew Part 2
Kamil Pasek, Czech Exotic Plant Society
11/15/2001

The Portuguese Sundew (Drosophyllum lusitanicum Link.) in nature and cultivation

 Jan Flísek & Kamil Pásek


Part 2

  August 5,1999 Thursday
    About one thirty in the morning we made a pit stop in front of the illuminated theatre in Malaga to brew the necessary coffee. There was a nighttime hustle and bustle in this place and the temperature was warm at around thirty degrees. Within two hours we had descended from 3100 m a.s.l. to 0 m a.s.l.. The change of 25°C between elevations in so short a time was really felt by us.
    At four in the morning we finally found a suitable campsite near an abandoned dusty road winding its way to the low coastal hills between the cities of San Roque and Estepona. These hills are covered by dozens of wind power stations, which use the energy of all available wind from the sea to the land. At 4:30 we lay down in our tents near one of the wind power stations and fell asleep listening to the never-ending and not so silent sound made by the rotating vanes. At 8:30 we awoke and admired our beautiful view of the sea! During the 4 hours we spent camping, about 20 cars had come along for the nice view. Overall, our sleep was not a quiet one!  We woke up to find we had camped along newly burnt cork woods, something we missed at four thirty in the morning.  A decision was made to visit the most southern point of the European continent - the town of Tarifa - and then bathe along the border between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
     
Africa01_Copyright_J_Flisek.jpg (31002 bytes) Africa02_Copyright_J_Flisek.jpg (25702 bytes)

    At 9:30 we were on a beach representing the most southern point of our expedition. A sprinkling of drunk Austrians and Frenchmen sleeping away their late night binges was all that existed for human life. Otherwise, there was no one anywhere. The bath in the sea was refreshing but cold (12°C). Early-morning clouds hid the sky covering nearby Africa. The ocean was turbulent and dark. We refuelled energy really needed for the upcoming day. We didn’t know it then, but we would fondly remember the cool maritime morning and cold refreshing bath over the next few days!
    A photo of our "group of four" was taken and, with a last glance towards Africa, said good bye to this beautiful place. Following the rocky Gibraltar shore, we turn off on to a road leading inland towards a Drosophyllum locality near the town of Algeciras. Shortly before lunch, the clouds disappeared and the sun began to beat down. People who love the sun and heat would really enjoy it here in the south. We decided to have lunch under the shadow of domesticated blue gums. A Drosophyllum locality was subsequently found without any problems.
     The site consisted primarily of a sharp, uncovered, eroded slope arising from a landslide or mining. We had already seen the magnificent tall Drosophyllum plants from a distance, but up close found that the slope was covered with plants. The plants were generally widely dispersed but were also found growing nearby in clumps. We also found a few young plants, this

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