Three weeks in the field in Brazil are worth some amount that is hard to quantify in any existing currency – but perhaps a decade of research in the herbarium?
Brazil is without doubt home to the most incredible diversity within the genus that I have ever encountered. Ruellia curviflora was just one of many amazing finds from coastal Bahia. This species is somewhat unique in its affinity for wetter forests, where it co-occurs with Ruellia affinis.
My favorite population was in Refugio Serra do Teimoso, near Juçari. This is a very special reserve loaded with old growth virgin tropical forest. Even though we found Ruellia curviflora in abundance near the entrance, Nico and I decided to hightail it to the summit. We found other incredible Acanths along the way. I will never forget the splendor of that entire mountainside.
Note the glabrous leaves of Ruellia curviflora typical of species in wet forest habitats. The calyx reminds me of Ruellia glischrocalyx but is not glandular like the latter. Is that comparison so wrong?
Wild collected, Brazil, Erin Tripp #5891, w/ Nico Medina, Cíntia Kameyama (COLO); Photos by Cíntia Kameyama