An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter of November 5, 2007
issued from Yerba Buena Clinic just outside
Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, Chiapas, MÉXICO
about 1740 meters in elevation, ± LAT. 17° 11' 27"N, LONG. -92° 53' 35"W

A LUSTY HOPHORNBEAM

Surely the most fascinating feature of our Pine-Oak-Sweetgum forest is its high percentage of relict species that are identical to, subspecies of, or sister species of, species typical of the forests of eastern North America, Sweetgum being the most conspicuous.

For example, take a look at the sodden tree branch below:

Ostrya, Hophornbeam

You may recognize the clusters of flattened, leafy, hoplike bladders as fruits of the Hophornbeam, genus Ostrya. However, have you ever seen such long fruit clusters? And the leaves don't look quite right, either. Studies done here don't list any Ostryas so I don't know if this is considered a relict Eastern Hophornbeam, or a different species.

How interesting yet how frustrating to be living amidst all this but not have fieldguides or decent Internet access so I can figure it all out!