Ruellia beniana

This beautiful shrub with floral tubes up to 9 mm in length is named for the Departmento de Beni, an ecologically rich area of northeastern Bolivia, a part of the larger Bolivian amazon. Known only from the type locality, a well-traveled mountain rising above the town of Rurrenabaque, we collected this species from this site for only the second time since it was described in 2003. Most likely this species is a very narrow endemic and should be considered to be very rare.

The evening in which we found this species will be forever remembered. The sun was low in the sky casting a pink haze over the landscape while at the same time trumpets, trombones, and drums sounded from below as the Bolivian navy marching band practiced. To make the evening ever more special, a Clusia collected by Manuel Lujan from the same location, may be a new species!

Wild collected, Bolivia, Tripp #5994 w/ Luján, and Clark (COLO); Photos and blog post by Dina Clark

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