Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
Suddenly there came a tapping….rapping at my chamber door….
Rapping at my door in August of 2016 was a whole new world of Ruellia diversity so massive and magnificent. Ruellia incomta was one of 42 species (!) that we found during our Brazil fieldtrip, making this excursion among the most successful targeting a single genus in history.
Ruellia incomta is highly distinctive and, lucky for me, looks just like it does on a herbarium sheet! It cannot be confused for anything else. Start with those cute, oblanceolate bracts that typify a profusely branching inflorescence. And then note the great density of vegetative glands. BTW: this plant is ALL inflorescence, with very few leaves (I’ve attempted to show you this in the photos).
Ruellia incomta practically shouts its own name in a language I am close to understanding. Look for nice populations of this species near the top of a mountain that immediately borders Barra do Garças (Mato Grosso) to the north.
Wild collected, Brazil, Erin Tripp #5921, 5955, & 5959 w/ Nico Medina, Cíntia Kameyama (COLO); Photos by Erin Tripp, Cíntia Kameyama