by Luiz Menini Neto






Work in progress, in association with
Rafaela C. Forzza (Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro)
and Ruy J. V. Alves (National Museum / UFRJ).
Part of the dissertation of author's thesis




Foto / Photo: Luiz Menini Neto
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
The Parque Estadual do Ibitipoca (PEI - State Park of Ibitipoca), situated in south of the state of Minas Gerais, municipal district Lima Duarte, district of Conceição do Ibitipoca, has been created in July 4th 1973.
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto

Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
It presents an area of 1923,5 hectares, with a relief scarped and altitudes varying from 1100 to 1784 meters.
The Park shelters an area with many falls, high walls and places of extreme scenic beauty, added to a small height vegetation which make possible the execution of ecological walks with relatively little effort (Salimena, 2000).
The PEI vegetation is a mosaic of singular communities, which shelter the Atlantic Forest, cerrados


Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
(savannah) of altitude and rupestrian fields. As a result of this union of vegetation types so distinct, the region assembles typical species from medium and altimontane level (Atlantic Forest), rupestrian fields from of Espinhaço Chain and from savannah.
It is reported inside the domain of the Park, a great diversity of lichens, tree-ferns, gramineae, orchids, bromeliads, immortelle, vellozias and carnivore (Menini Neto & Forzza, 2002).

The diversity of the species registered for the family Orchidaceae in PEI is high. Nowadays, we have listed 120 species inside 45 genera (Table 3) for the area. The species occur in all environments as epiphyte, terrestrial or rupicolous. The presence of pseudobulbs and velamen which act, respectively, in storing and absorbing water, allows those plants to survive completely in the rupestrian fields (where the soil is shallow, sandy and doesn't hold the water back) or as epiphyte in the trunks of the trees.
The great majority of the species occurs as epiphyte, in the interior of the Mata Grande (Great Wood) (area of ombrophilous forest), in the riparian woods or cloudy forest in the high part of the Park, high humid environments.
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Dichaea cogniauxiana
Between them, we can mention, for example: Dichaea cogniauxiana, Eurystyles cogniauxii, Octomeria diaphana, Pleurothallis platystachys, Rodrigueziella gomezoides, Stelis megantha, Trichosalpinx montana, between others.
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Stelis megantha
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Malaxis excavata
Between the terrestrial species in the wood, we can mention: Cranichis candida, Erythrodes commelinoides, Galeandra beyrichii, Malaxis excavata (occurring in sandy soil, in cloudy forests), Sauroglossum nitidum and Stigmatosema polyaden.
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Cranichis candida  
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Pleurothallis johannensis  

In the rupestrian fields, we can find the rupicolous species (Bifrenaria harrisoniae, Bulbophyllum cribbianum, Hoffmannseggella crispata, Pleurothallis johannensis), terrestrial in sandy soil (Cleistes, Habenaria and Zygopetalum species) and epiphytes (Isabelia violacea – also found the interior of the wood –, Pleurothallis rubens, Prosthechea allemanoides, Prosthechea vespa, Sophronitis brevipedunculata, etc.).
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Prosthechea allemanoides  
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Cleistes brasiliensis
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Habenaria rolfeana
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Zygopetalum triste
We should point out the occurrence in the PEI of six species of Orchidaceae present in the Red List of Threatened species of the Flora of Minas Gerais (Mendonça & Lins, 2000):
Bulbophyllum warmingianum, Cattleya bicolor, Cattleya loddigesii, Isabelia violacea, Oncidium warmingii and Sophronitis coccinea.
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Bulbophyllum warmingianum
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Cattleya bicolor
Foto / Photo: L. Menini Neto
Oncidium warmingii

Even being a relatively small area, the Parque Estadual do Ibitipoca is one of the state park most visited of Minas Gerais, receiving tourists coming from all parts of the Brazil and abroad. In the last decade, the number of visitors increased, at about, 500%.
In 1988, the Park received 7.632 visitants a year. Nowadays, this number reaches 40.000 people. One of the most great problem related to the visitation of the area is the formation of erosive process in trails, the crumbling and glides of the hillsides and the predatory action reaching the most showy species.
Some species of the Orchidaceae in the Park have been suffering, all along those years, an accelerated process of population reduction. Two facts can be contributing for this reality: The trampling on and the extraction. Species such as Hoffmannseggella crispata and Sophronitis brevipedunculata are plants which become more and more rare to be admired in their habitats. This fact is, possibly, related to the attraction of the flowers which are collected by visitors or by the local extractors. Another orchids such as the species of Bifrenaria, Cattleya, Prosthechea, Oncidium and Zygopetalum, just for mentioning those considered as the most showy, are also threatened of disappearing from the park.
Those facts show the necessity of elaborating a plan of handling the area, with training guides to go with tourists, as well a program of environmental education showing them the importance of not picking up the natives plants.


We believe that those are small but value contributions for knowledge and consequently, for the preservation of the floristic diversity of this big state.



= Born, M. G.; Maas, P. J. M.; Dressler, R. L. & Westra, L. Y. T. 1999. A revision of the saprophytic    orchid genera Wullschlaegelia and Uleiorchis. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 121(1): 45-74.
= Costa, M. R. C.; Herrmann, G.; Martins, C. S.; Lins, L. V. & Lamas, I. R. 1998. Biodiversidade em    Minas Gerais. Fundação Biodiversitas. Belo Horizonte.
= Giulietti, A. M.; Menezes, N. L.; Pirani, J. R.; Meguro, M & Wanderley, M. G. L. 1987. Flora da    Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais: caracterização e lista das espécies. Bol. Bot. USP 9: 1-151.
= Giulietti, A. M.; Harley, R. M.; Queiroz, L. P.; Wanderley, M. G. L. & Pirani, J. R. 2000.    Caracterização e endemismo nos campos rupestres da Cadeia do Espinhaço. In: T. B. Cavalcanti &    B. M. Walter (eds.), Tópicos atuais em Botânica. Brasília. SBB/EMBRAPA.
= Joly, A. B. 1970. Conheça a Vegetação Brasileira. São Paulo EDUSP.
= Mendonça, M. P. & Lins, L. V. 2000. Lista Vermelha das Espécies Ameaçadas de Extinção da Flora    de Minas Gerais. Belo Horizonte, Fundação Biodiversitas, Fundação Zoo-Botânica.
= Menezes L. C. 2000. Genus Cyrtopodium – Espécies brasileiras. Ed. Ibama, Brasília.
= Menezes, N. L. & Giulietti, A. M. 2000. Campos Rupestres. In: Mendonça, M. P. & Lins, L. V.    (org.). Lista Vermelha das Espécies Ameaçadas de Extinção da Flora de Minas Gerais. Fundação    Biodiversitas, Fundação Zoo-Botânica. Belo Horizonte.
= Menini Neto, L. & Forzza, R. C. 2002. Orquídeas do Parque Estadual de Ibitipoca, Minas Gerais.    Bol. CAOB 48: 35-40.
= Menini Neto, L.; Almeida, V. R. & Forzza, R. C. 2004. A família Orchidaceae na Reserva Biológica    da Represa do Grama – Descoberto, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Rodriguésia 55(84): 137-156.
= Menini Neto, L.; Assis, L. C. S. & Forzza, R. C. 2004. A família Orchidaceae em um fragmento de    floresta estacional semidecidual no município de Barroso, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Lundiana 5(1): 9-27.
= Myers, N.; Mittermeier, R. A.; Mittermeier, C. G.; Fonseca, G. A. B. & Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity    hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853-858.
= Pabst, J. F. G. & Dungs, F. 1975. Orchidaceae Brasilienses. Band I, Hildesheim, Kurt Schmersow.
___________. 1977. Orchidaceae Brasilienses. Band II, Hildesheim, Kurt Schmersow.
= Salimena, F. R G. 2000. Ecoturismo X conservação dos campos rupestres. In: Tópicos atuais em    botânica. 51º Congresso Nacional de Botânica, p. 343-347.

= Sprunger, S. (ed.). 1996. João Barbosa Rodrigues – Iconographie des orchidées du Brésil. Volume 1:    The illustrations. Basle, Friedrich Reinhardt Verlag.




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