A large bromeliad flower (Aechmea strobilacea) near the forest floor

The flora of Panguana, especially its orchids, is being studied by Dr. Günter Gerlach of the Botanical Garden Munich, in cooperation with Peruvian botanists from the Museum of Natural History in Lima, and with a Missouri Botanical Garden affiliate NGO working out of Oxapampa. Dr. Gerlach is compiling a ‘florula’ of the Panguana area, including a species inventory and an herbarium.

A very ornamental orchid from the genus Oncidium
A very ornamental orchid from the genus Oncidium

Trees can be identified best when their flowers can be studied. At Panguana, the best time for this is the end of the rainy season in March/April.

Pachira sp., Malvaceae, Bombacoidea
The bright pink blooms of the ‘punga’ (Pachira sp., Malvaceae, Bombacoideae), a close relative of the Kapok tree, stands out even from a distance 
against the green colors of the forest or the blue of the sky