Adventure In The Andes: Travel Experiences In
Join New Zealand nurseryman Dick Endt on an exciting palm hunt up
hill and down dale in the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains. Who needs
gorillas? by Dick Endt, Landsendt Subtropical Fruits, 108
Parker Road, Oratia, Auckland, New Zealand Chamaerops No.15, published online 23-08-2002
Above: Parajubaea cocoides is a commonly planted
street tree in Quito, Ecuador.
Below: Tree ferns on a misty hillside, Ecuador.
For the last twenty years Ecuador has held a great
fascination for me. This country, roughly the same size as New Zealand,
yet one of the smaller South American countries, has probably the
most diverse vegetation in the world. Our climate in the northern
parts of New Zealand being so-called 'winterless' yet never too
hot in summer, equates with the general climate of the high altitude
region in the Andes. Plants that we collected on previous expeditions
are now thriving in New Zealand. Never before has such a range of
new plants, including many palms, been introduced into New Zealand.
The results of these efforts can now be seen at our farm near Auckland.
Our latest trip last year in July and August provided
much material, both in the way of plants but also experiences which
cry out to be put on paper.
It is impossible to describe all of our adventures,
rather I will describe just two trips, one to the high mist forest
on the Equator, the other, also near the Equator, this time to Rio
Palenque river valley in the hot humid western plains of coastal