Friday, March 31, 2006

More Gorgeous Flowers

This one is called Red Torch Ginger. It is a very large and solid flower!

No idea what this flower is called. Though the individual flowers were very nice, the plants seem to display very few blooms at one time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gorgeous Tropical Flowers

Caesalpinia pulcherrima - the Mexican Red Bird of Paradise

Anyone know the name of this?

These two flowers were found within a few feet of each other on a backroad near the "village" of Ojochal on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It was a hot and humid Christmas day and we were hiking to a waterfall. It was in this area that I found the nicest flowers of the entire trip. More pics to come.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Red Sealing Wax Palm

I saw picture of this palm on a hotel's website, and between it and the fact that the hotel was on the ocean, I just had to go there. We spent 3 very enjoyable nights, just south of Dominical, on the Pacific Ocean.

It appears that the only part of the stem that is red is the new growth. So it is only red above the topmost joint. But with new shoots growing from the base, there are red sections at varying levels.

After some searching I found that its Latin name (I love Latin names) is Cyrtostachys lakka and its common name is Red sealing wax palm. So I assume it is used for sealing wax (gee, am I clever or what?). This is not a common palm in Costa Rica.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blue Morpho Butterfly

It is a sight to make you heart beat faster - a huge bright blue butterfly flitting across your path. The Blue Morpho butterfly is about 5" across and has a completely different underside. We toured a butterfly farm near Quespos where it was explained to us that the underside of the wings, when folded offer the brightly colored morpho protection because to a predator it looks that there is an big eye staring back at them.

(The image is from a website of Tom Davis, a frequent traveller to Costa Rica. His website has lots of interesting photos of the fauna of CR.)

These butterflies rarely land with their wings open so that it is difficult to take a picture of them. It is my guess that may be why there are so many copywrited photos of the butterfly. If I had been lucky enough to score a good photo I guess I might be inclined to copywrite it too! But if you go to Google Images and enter Blue Morpho you will be able to see more pictures of this gorgeous creature.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I first heard the word Heliconia on our tour of the cloud forest. Then I kept seeing them all over Costa Rica. I wish I had known a bit more about them before I left. There are so many different kinds (see more photos here), some hang down, but most stand up. The one on the left was growing in the wild in Manuel Antonio Park, which is on the west coast of Costa Rica. The flowers were at eye level, and were growing in the shade.

The picture below was taken in a garden further south in CR. These are a different variety as they were much shorter and the flowers smaller. These plants were quite common and since there are numerous garden centers in CR, I expect they are readily available. On my next trip I will have to visit some!