Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flowering Trees of Costa Rica in Bloom

I arrived in Costa Rica during the height of the “dry season” when very little rain falls (which lasts from November to March).  During this time of year, the countryside is covered in splashes of white, pink, yellow, and orange due to the abundant blossoms of the country’s flowering trees.

One of the most beautiful colors, in my opinion, comes from the pink blooms of the Tabebuia Rosea, known by locals as the “Roble de Sabana” (1st picture below).  These pastel pink blossoms can also appear as almost white or even lavender.  The Roble de Sabana blooms harmoniously across the Costa Rican landscape alongside an equally beautiful and related specimen, the vibrant yellow-flowering Corteza tree (Tabebuia Chrysantha - 2nd picture below).

Another tree with pink-colored flowers is the taller-growing Cassia Grandis. If you arrive in Costa Rica during the dry season you will see these trees in bloom lining both sides of the highway about midway between the airport and San José (the capital city).

The orange blossoms of the Erythrina Poeppigiana, locally referred to as the Poró tree, are another of my favorites (last picture below).   If you see a group of tall Poró trees together, it is most likely that there had once been a coffee plantation on that same spot, since these trees were used to provide optimal shade for the coffee beans allowing them to ripen more slowly and, in this way, produce a more flavorful tasting coffee.
Roble de Sabana (Pink Blossoms)
Corteza Tree (Yellow Blossoms)

Poro Tree (Orange Blossoms)

Learn More About Costa Rica's Trees:

Trees of Panama and Costa Rica (Princeton Field Guides)

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