PO Box 9021, Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
E-mail: font@focusonnature.com
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-8
 or 302/529-1876

Tropical Plants
of the

in Mexico, Central America
South America
and the Caribbean

with those during 
Focus On Nature Tours
thru 2015
noted with an (*) 

during tours in the months of 
January, February, March, April,  
May, July, November, and December

The 1st part of a three-part list of Tropical Plants of the Americas compiled by Armas Hill 

Photo at upper right: a plant in the Bromeliad family, VRIESEA ZAMORENSIS,
photographed during the April 2014 FONT Tour in southern Ecuador,
at a place where we enjoyed staying, Copalinga - a place with many birds, butterflies,
and interesting plants.  
(photo by Marie Gardner) 

FONT tours in the Neotropics have been in southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and on islands
in the Caribbean.       

In the list that follows, below the scientific names are names in English and Spanish (S:) and Portuguese (P:).
The families in the list are given (mostly) in alphabetical order, and genera within them are given alphabetically as well. 
Families that are "break-offs" from other families are at times here still with them, and may be out of alphabetical order.  

Plant families listed alphabetically by the scientific name of the family (after CYATHEACEAE)
are in the second and third parts of this list:


(from OCHNACEAE, Wild Plane to ZYGOPHYLLACEAE, Caltrop)

Links to Plant Families in this Part of this List:

ACANTHACEAE - Acanthus   including Black Mangrove    ADOXACEAE   including Viburnums

AGAVACEAE - Agave & Yucca  (was said to be in the Lily Family - LILIACEAE)  also NOLINACEAE 

AIZOACEAE - Fig-marigold, or Carpetweed     ALISMATACEAE - Water-plantains  


AMARANTHACEAE  (closely related to CHENOPODIACEAE - the Goosefoots)   including Epazote (Mexican Tea)

AMARYLLIACEAE - Amaryllis     ANACARDIACEAE - Sumacs   Including Cashew, Mango, Spanish Plum

ANNONACEAE - Custard Apples   including Soursop, Custard Apple (or "Bull's Heart")

APIACEAE - Parsley, or Celery family   including Cilantro, Culantro 

APOCYNACEAE - Dogbanes     APODANTHACEAE  (some endoparasitic herbs)

ARACEAE - Aroids     ARALIACEAE - Aralias     ARAUCARIACEAE - Araucarias

ARECACEAE, was PALMAE - Palms   including Macauba Palm (or Cocoyol), Coconut

ARISTOLOCHIACEAE - Bladderwort, Birthwort, or Pipevines     ASCLEPIADACEAE - Milkweeds

ASTERACEAE. COMPOSITAE - Aster & Sunflower   including Cure-for-all Sourbush, Toothleaf Goldeneye


BASELLACEAE  (a family of herbaceous plants)     BATACEAE - Pickleweed     


BIGNONIACEAE - Bignonias, Trumpet Creepers   including Calabash, Jacarandas, Tabebuia ("Ipe") Trees 

BIXACEAE - Achiote, or Annato Plants     BLECHNACEAE

    BRASSICADEAE - Mustards  (formerly CRUCIFERAE)

BROMELIACEAE  - Bromeliads   including Pineapple, Spanish Moss    BRUNELLIACEAE

BURSERACEAE - Torchwoods, or Incense Trees     BUXACEAE - Box family     CACTACEAE - Cacti   

CALOPHYLLACEAE  (previously in the CLUSIACEAE, or GUTTIFERAE family) 

CAMPANULACEAE - Bellflowers   including Lobelia     CANELLACEAE   including White Cinnamon 

CANNACEAE - Canna  (now includes ULMACEAE)     CAPPARACEAE  - Capers

CARICACEAE - Papaya Plants   including Papaya (or Pawpaw), Wild Papaya (or Bonete)




COMBRETACEAE - Bush Willows, Combretums, Almond
     COMMELINACEAE - Dayflowers, or Spiderworts    

CONVOLVULACEAE - Morning Glories
including Sweet Potato     

COSTACEAE - Costus Family
   including Spiral Ginger     CRASSULACEAE - Stonecrop, or Orpine Family

CUCURBITACEAE - Gourd, or Cucumbers  
including Cushaw, Calabaza (Winter Squash), Calabacita (Summer Squash, or Zucchini), Christophine (or Chayote)

CUPRESSACEAE - Cypress, Juniper    CYCLANTHACEAE - Panama Hat Palms    CYATHEACEAE  - Tree Ferns

The following families are in the second part of this list.
The link to them is here:


EBENACEAE - Ebony and Persimmon     ERYTHROXYLACEAE - Coca Family     EUPHORBIACEAE - Spurges

Plants in EUPHORBIACEAE include Poinsettia, Rubber Tree, Cassava (or Tapioca) 

FABACEAE - Legume, or Pea or Bean Family, includes CAESALPINIOIDAE, the Carob Plants,
and MIMOSOIDEAE, the Mimosa Plants

FABACEAE includes: Acacias, Groundnut (or Peanut), Pigeon Pea, Flamboyant Tree, Monkey Ladder Vine (or Caracol), Elephant-ear (or Guanacaste) Tree, Coral Tree, Inga Trees, Ib (or Common Lima Bean), Black Bean (or Frijoles Negro), Raintree, Tamarind, Retama  

FAGACEAE - Oaks (in the Beech family)     GENTIANACEAE - Gentians     GESNERIACEAE - Gesnerias

including Pecan

including Pineapple Sage, Teak 

LAURACEAE - Laurel   including Cassia Cinnamon, Avocado

LECYTHIDACEAE - Brazil Nut plants and allies   including Brazil Nut Tree, Cannonball Tree, Monkey Pot Tree

LILIACEAE - Lilies  (including what was in AMARYLLIDACEAE, the Amaryllis Family) 

LORANTHACEAE - Mistletoes     LYTHRACEAE - Loosestrifes 
including Pomegranate


MALVACEAE - Mallows  (includes BOMBACACEAE, the Cotton Tree Plants)

MALVACEAE includes Cuipo Tree, Kapok (or Ceiba) Tree, Hand-flower Tree, Okra, other Rose Mallows (or Hibiscus)

MARANTACEAE - Arrowroot, or Prayer-plant Family     MELASTOMATACEAE - Melastomes

MELIACEAE - Mahogany     MENISPERMACEAE    MORACEAE - Mulberry plants

MORACEAE includes Breadfruit, Bread Nut (or Mayan Nut), Milk Tree, Strangler Fig  

MUSACEAE - Banana plants, Heliconias  
including Banana, Plantain

MYRICACEAE - Wax-myrtle     MYRISTICAEAE - Nutmeg     MYRSINACEAE - Myrsine

MYRTACEAE - Myrtles 
includes Allspice, Guava     NYCTAGINACEAE - Four O' Clocks  includes Bougainvillea 


The following families are in the third part of this list.
The link to them is here:

OLACACEAE     OLEACEAE - Olive, Jasmine     ONAGRACEAE - Willowherb, Evening Primrose 

includes Vanilla     PAPAVERACEAE - Poppies     PASSIFLORACEAE - Passionflowers

PHYTOLACCACEAE - Pokeweed     PINACEAE - Pines     PIPERACEAE - Pepper

PLANTAGINACEAE - Plantains  (not related to the Banana) 

POACEAE  (or GRAMINEAE)  - Grasses  
including Bamboo, Rice, Corn

PODOCARPACEAE - Podocarpus     POLEMONIACEAE - Phloxes     POLYGALACEAE - Milkworts

POLYGONACEAE - Buckwheats  
including Seagrape, Dzidzilache Honey (Mayan)

POLYPODIACEAE - Polypod Ferns     PONTEDERIACEAE - Water Hyacinth, Pickerel-weed

PORTULACACEAE - Purslanes     PRIMULACEAE - Primrose     PROTEACEAE - Macadamia and allies

PSILOTACEAE - fern-like plants (without roots and true leaves)     RHAMNACEAE - Buckthorns

RHIZOPHORACEAE - Mangroves and allies  
includes Tea Mangrove     RUPPIACEAE - Ditch Grass

ROSACEAE - Rose     RUBIACEAE - Madders   including Coffee, Psychotria elata ("Hot Lips")

RUTACEAE - Citrus, or Rue  includes Lime, Sour Orange, Shaddock, Sweet Lime, Sweet Orange 

SALICACEAE - Willows     SANTALACEAE - Sandalwoods  (includes VISCACEAE, Mistletoes)  

SAPINDACEAE - Soapberry family  
includes Akee (or Aki), Guarana

SAPOTACEAE - Sapote plants  
includes Star Apple, Chicle, Yellow Sapote (or Eggfruit)

SCROPHULARIACEAE - Snapdragons, or Figworts     SIMAROUBACEAE     SMILACACEAE - Greenbriers

SOLANACEAE - Nightshades  
includes Cayenne Pepper, various Chiles, Tomatillo, Tomato

STERCULIACEAE - Cacao plants  
includes Cacao (or Cocoa)     SURIANACEAE



URTICACEAE - Nettles  
including Cecropias     

VERBENACEAE - Vervains, Verbanas   includes Lantana, Mexican Oregano

VIOLACEAE - Violets     VITACEAE - Grape     ZAMIACEAE - Cone-palm Ferns

ZINGIBERACEAE - Ginger     ZYGOPHYLLACEAE - Caltrop   includes Jamaican Feverplant


A Photo Gallery of Plants during a FONT Tour in the Dominican Republic
with some of the photographed plants not identified. If you can ID any, we'd greatly appreciate.   

A Photo Gallery of Plants during some FONT Tours in Ecuador
with some of the photographed plants not identified. If you can ID any, we'd greatly appreciate.


BR: in Brazil    BZ: in Belize    CR: in Costa Rica    CY:  in the Cayman Islands    DR: in the Dominican Republic
: in Ecuador    GU: in Guatemala    JM: in Jamaica    MX: in Mexico    MX(YU): in the Yucatan area of Mexico
: in Peru    PN: Panama    PR: Puerto Rico
(ph):  species with a photo in the FONT web-site

In this list, Spanish names follow the letter S:  Portuguese names follow the letter P:  

Another code throughout the list here, (TPCR:xx), refers to pages with a photograph of the particular species
in the book "Tropical Plants of Costa Rica, A Guide to Native and Exotic Flora" by Willow Zuchowski, with photographs by Turid Forsyth, 2007.    

Other Links:  

Information about Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours:
in the Caribbean 
    in Central America    in South America (Brazil and Ecuador)

or by month in:   2015    2016    or:  by geographic locations worldwide 

Lists and Photo Galleries in this Website of Other Nature: 

Birds in:   the Caribbean    Central America    South America (Brazil)    South America (Ecuador) 

A List and Photo Gallery of Hummingbirds in 2 parts

Mammals:     the Caribbean    Central America    South America

Butterflies and Moths in:   the Caribbean      Central America    South America

Other Lists and Photo Galleries in this website relating to Plants: 

Tropical Plants on West Indian Islands in the Caribbean

Orchids of the Americas    Fruiting Plants and Others in Brazil

Wildflowers & Other Plants in Texas    

Desert Plants of the Southwest US & northern Mexico

Wildflowers & Other Plants in Eastern North America, a list in 2 parts 

Northern Plants in Alaska, Iceland, & the mountains of Hokkaido, Japan
(with some notes about medicinal and edible plants)

Links to Other Lists & Photo Galleries of Plants     
Directory of Photos in this Website

Books that have been sources for this list include:
"Aves Brasileiras e Plantas que as Atraem" by Johan Dalgas Frisch and Christian Dalgas Frisch, 2005
"Botanica's Pocket Orchids" by various authors, 2007  (with over 1200 species listed)
"Brazil, Amazon and Pantanal - the Ecotraveler's Wildlife Guide" by David Pearson and Les Beletsky, 2002  
"Brazilian Fruits and Cultivated Exotics" by Harri Lorenzi, Luis Bacher, Marco Lacerda, Sergio Sartori, 2006
"Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Rica, a Field Guide"  by Carrol Henderson, 2010
"The Butterflies of Hispaniola" by Albert Schwartz, 1989.
"Fruits and Vegetables of the Caribbean" by M Bourne, G. Lennox and S. Seddon, 2006
"Hispaniola" by Eladio Fernandez, 2007
"Hummingbirds, a Life-size Guide to Every Species" by Michael Fogden, Marianne Taylor, and Sheri Williamson, 2014
"A Naturalist in Costa Rica" by Alexander Skutch, 1971 
"Threatened Plants of the Cayman Islands - the Red List" by Frederic Burton, 2008. 
"Tropical Plants of the World" by Jens Rohwer, 2002 
"Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling, 2014

About 50 color illustrations in this 3-part list are from the book "Flowers of Guatemala" by Carol Rogers Chickering.
Most of the illustrations were done about 50 years ago in 1964-1965. The book was published in 1973.  

Another book that has been a valuable source for information here is "Tropical Plants of Costa Rica, A Guide to Native and Exotic Flora" by Willow Zuchowski, with photographs by Turid Forsth, 2007. 
As noted above, the code (TPCR:xx) in this list refers to pages with a photograph of a particular plant. 

     A List of Tropical Plants of the Americas, Part 1:

Family ACANTHACEAE  (Acanthus)


  1. Aphelandra scabra  ______  CR  (TPCR:74)   occurs from southern Mexico to northern South America, also in the West Indies

    Aphelandra scabra was previously known as Aphelandra deppeana.

    The flowers of Aphelandra scabra are pollinated by various short-billed hummingbirds, while most Aphelandra species in Central America are visited by the long-billed hummingbirds known as hermits.

  2. Aphelandra schiediana  (ph)  ______  GU 

    Aphelandra schiediana,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"


    Plants in ASISTASIA are attractive to feeding hummingbirds, in Brazil.

    Genus AVICENNIA  (
    was said to be in a family AVICENNIACEAE)

  3. Avicennia germinas  (*)  ______  BR  CR  CY  (TPCR:341)  (endangered in CY)
    Black Mangrove
    S: Palo de Sal

    The Black Mangrove occurs from Mexico to South America and in the West Indies. Also it is in west Africa. 

    Mangroves, or Mangles in Spanish, are a group of unrelated woody plants that grow along tropical coasts. 
    They generally occur in physical habitats that in temperate regions would be occupied by salt marshes.
    "Mangrove" is not a precise taxonomic classification. Generally any tree that grows directly from a subtidal or intertidal substrate may be termed a mangrove.

    The Red Mangrove and the Tea Mangrove are in a different family, RHIZOPHORACEAE. 
    The White Mangrove and Buttonwood Mangrove are in the family COMBRETACEAE.    


    Plants in BELOPERONE are attractive to feeding hummingbirds, in Brazil.

    Genus BLECHUM

    Female Malachite butterflies lay single eggs on new leaves of plants in this genus.

  4. Blechum blechum  ______  CR

  5. Blechum brownei  ______  CR

  6. Blechum pyramidatum  ______  CR  


  7. Bravaisia integerrima  ______  CR


  8. Hypoestes phyllostachya  ______  CR  (TPCR:108)  originally from Africa
    Polka-dot Plant
    S: Sarampion

    In Costa Rica, Hypoestes phyllostachya is cultivated in yards, but sometimes it spreads into partially shaded, disturbed areas. 


  9. Jacobinia umbrosa  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Monte de Oro

    Jacobinia umbrosa is a beautiful shrub, either in the wild or in gardens. In full bloom in Guatemala in the autumn, the shrub is covered with thick racemes of a brilliant, rich yellow.  


    Jacobinia umbrosa,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala" 

    Genus JUSTICIA

    In Central America, plants in JUSTICIA, and some other genera in ACANTHACEAE, are fed upon for their nectar by hummingbird, the Violet Sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus

  10. Justicia aurea  ______  CR  (TPCR:283)

  11. Justicia brandegeana  ______  (native to Mexico)
    False Hop 
    (or "Mexican Shrimp Plant")   (an herbaceous plant)
    S: Cola de Camaron

  12. Justicia candalerianae  ______  CR

    Female Malachite butterflies lay single eggs on new leaves of Justicia candalerianae and Justicia carthaginensis (the next plant in this list).

    the Malachite butterfly

  13. Justicia carthaginensis  ______  CR

  14. Justicia carnea  ______  BR  (native to Brazil)
    Brazilian Plume Flower 
    (a bush with simple, alternate leaves) 
    S: Isopo Rojizo, or Tango Rojizo


  15. Megaskepasma erythrochlamys  ______  CR  (TPCR:109)  
    Brazilian Red Cloak

    The common English name notwithstanding, Megaskepasma erythrochlamys is originally from Venezuela.


    In Costa Rica, plants in the genus ODONTONEMA are host plants for the caterpillar of the butterfly Chlosyne janais, the Crimson-patch Checkerspot, or Giant Patch.

  16. Odontonema strictum  ______  BR

    When in bloom, Odontonema strictum is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds. 


  17. Pachystachys lutea  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:110)   native to Peru
    Golden Shrimp Plant
    P: Camarao Amarelo
    S: Olotillo

    Pachystachys lutea
    is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.


  18. Poikilacanthus macranthus  ______  CR  (TPCR:283)

    Genus RAZISEA

  19. Razisea spicata  ______  CR  (TPCR:282)   occurs from Nicaragua to Peru
    S: Pavon de Montana, or Pavoncillo Rojo

    Razisea spicta is visited by various long-billed hummingbirds. One hummingbird in particular, in Costa Rica, the Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, gets nectar by piercing the base of the flower.

    Genus RUELLIA

    Female Malachite butterflies lay single eggs on new leaves of plants in this genus. 

  20. Ruellia coccinea  ______  CR

  21. Ruellia metallica  ______  CR


  22. Sanchezia nobilis  ______  EC  (native to Ecuador)
    (a bush with simple, alternate leaves)

    Sanchezia nobilis
    is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.


  23. Stenostephanus blepharorbachis  ______  CR  (TPCR:283)


  24. Thunbergia grandiflora  ______  CR  (TPCR:111)   originally from India, now in tropical areas around the world
    Sky Vine
    S: Emperatriz Eugenia

    Family ADOXACEAE

    Genus VIBURNUM  
    previously included in CAPRIFOLIACEAE, the Honeysuckle Family

  25. Viburnum costaricanum  ______  CR

    Viburnum costaricanum
    and Viburnum venustum are host plants for the butterfly Adelpha tracta, the Tracta Sister. 

  26. Viburnum venustum  ______  CR

    Family AGAVACEAE  (Agaves)

    Genus AGAVE

  27. Agave americana  ______  (native to Central America)
    American Aloe 
    (or "Century Plant")   (an herbaceous plant)
    S: Maguey, or Pita Comun

  28. Agave antillarum  (*)  ______  DR
    S: Maguey

  29. Agave caymanensis  (*)  ______  CY  (endemic to the Cayman Islands)  (vulnerable)  

    Genus FURCRAEA

  30. Furcraea cabuya  (var. cabuya)  ______  CR  (TPCR:76,77)   occurs from Mexico to Panama
    S: Cabuya

    In Costa Rica, Furcraea cabuya is found on the Pacific side of the country on dry, rocky ridges and cliffs near steep river canyons, from approximately 150 to 4,500 feet above sea level.

    Genus YUCCA  (T/W)

    (photo by Doris Potter)

  31. Yucca gigantea (or Yucca elephantipes, or Yucca guatemalensis) (ph)  ______  CR  GU  native to eastern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and south to Costa Rica
    Elephant Yucca,
    or Spineless Yucca  (a giant-rosette plant) 
    S: Isote, or Itabo

    Elephant Yucca, Yucca gigantea,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family AIZOACEAE  (Fig-marigold, or Carpetweed)

    Genus SESUVIUM

  32. Sesuvium portulacastrum  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Sesuvium portulacastrum is a food plant for the butterfly Brephidium exilis, the Western Pygmy Blue. 

    Family ALISMATACEAE  (Water-plantains)


  33. Limnocharis flava  ______  (native to South America)
    Sawah Flowering Rush
    S: Cebolla de Chucho, or Hoja de Buitre


  34. Sagittaria lancifolia  ______  CY


    Genus BOMAREA

  35. Bomarea hirsuta  ______  CR  (TPCR:306)   occurs from Costa Rica to Ecuador, from 5,400 to 10,500 ft above sea level
    S: Bomarea  


    Family AMARANTHACEAE    

    is closely related to CHENOPODIACEAE, the Goosefoots, with the latter said now to be a subfamily


  36. Blutaparon vermiculare  ______  CY


  37. Dysphania ambrosioides  ______  MX(YU)
    Mexican Tea 
    (or Wormseed, or Goosefoot, or Skunkweed)
    S: Epazote, or Apazote 

    as it is called in Mexico, is a pungent bitter herb with a taste and smell that has been likened variously to citrus, mint, bleach, or turpentine.
    The plant originated in Central America and in central and southern Mexico. It has been used for centuries throughout Mesoamerica to expel parasitic worms from the human body.

    Epazote is incorporated into bean dishes for its alleged antiflatulence properties. Additionally, it is other recipes, including those for meat dishes, stews, and quesadillas.
    Perhaps nowhere in Mexico is it used more than in the cooking of the Yucatan region, where, most famously, a broth of the herb is mixed with pumpkinseed paste to make the classic Mayan dish called Papadzules.    
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)


  38. Gomphrena globosa  ______  (native to the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    Bachelor's Button 
    (or Globe Amaranth  (an herbaceous plant)
    S: Lazo de Amor 


  39. Lithophila muscoides  ______  CY

    Family AMARYLLIACEAE  (Amaryllis)


  40. Sprekelia formosissima  (ph)  ______  GU 
    Aztec Lily 
    S: Amacayo 

    The Aztec Lily, Sprekelia formosissima,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"


  41. Zephyranthes brevipes  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Atamasca,
    or Flor de Mayo

    Flor de Mayo, Zeohyranthes brevipes,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family ANACARDIACEAE  (Sumacs)


  42. Anacardium excelsum  ______  CR  (TPCR:40)   occurs in Central America, and in South America south to Ecuador
    Wild Cashew
    S: Espavel,
    or Espave, or Acajou

  43. Anacardium giganteum  ______  BR
    P: Caju Assu

    The Caju Assu is a native fruit tree, found in dry land forests and flood plains, mainly in the mid to lower Amazon regions. 

  44. Anacardium humile  ______  BR
    Monkey Nut
    P: Cajuzinho

    The Monkey Nut is a native fruit bearer on savannas (the cerrado) of central, west-central, and southeast Brazil. 

  45. Anacardium microcarpum  ______  BR
    P: Cajul

    The Cajul is a fruit tree native to the scrublands in Brazil of western Bahia, south and central Piaui, Tocantins, and in higher areas that do no flood on Marajo Island and the lower Amazon region.  

  46. Anacardium occidentale  (*) (ph)  ______  BR  BZ  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:162,163)  native to northeast Brazil, but after the 1500s it was dispersed throughout the American tropics, including on Caribbean islands 
    (or Cashew Apple, or Cashew Nut (a tree with simple, alternating leaves)
    P: Caju
    S: Merey,
    or Maranon, or Anacardo 

    The Maranon, as it is called in Spanish, is the fruit that produces the Cashew Nut. 
    hang down from the branches of an evergreen tree, and look rather like pears from a distance. But, up close, a kidney-shaped seed can be seen growing on the outside of the fruit.
    The leathery outer shell of the seed contains cardol, an oily liquid that is highly caustic and can cause skin ulcers, which is why it is recommended to remove the seed and discard. 
    Even though it may be tempting to try to extract the cashew, it should be left to "professionals" who have developed a method of roasting the seed in cylinders that collect the caustic but valuable cardol oil. They crack open the seed to release the nut and dry it.

    The Maranon fruit is about 3 and a half inches in length, and the nut about one-quarter to one and a quarter inches.
    Maranon is yellow-orange to red as it matures, with a peachy floral fragrance. The juicy flesh has a sweet flavor and slight acidity and is quite astringent.
    It is generally harvested in Belize, and elsewhere in Central America, from February to May.

    In the Yucatan of Mexico, there is a limited production of and market for organic cashews and cashew butter, as they are expensive and remain inaccessible for the majority of the population.
    But the fruits are another matter. When they arrive in the market in late February, they quickly sell out. The demand is so high that bushels of fresh fruits are brought in daily during that season.
    Once the seeds are plucked off, maranones are eaten as a hand fruit or used to prepare agua fresca.
    In other places in the tropics, they may be used to produce liqueurs, sorbets, ice cream, and preserves.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)     

    In Brazil, the Cashew is native to fields and coastal dunes in the northern part of the country. It is also widely cultivated in that area. 

    Birds that feed on the Cashew include: thrushes, tanagers, euphonias, parakeets, parrots, and others.

    A Maranon fruit of the Cashew tree, photographed during a FONT tour in Belize
    (photo by Marie Gardner)


  47. Astronium graveolens  ______  CR  (TPCR:256, 257)   occurs from Mexico to Paraguay
    S: Ronron


  48. Comocladia dentata  ______  CY
    Maiden Plum


  49. Mangifera indica  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:164)   native to India
    (a tree with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Mango

    The Mango Tree is easily recognized by its dome-shaped crown of dull green leathery leaves growing on a short, thick trunk.
    The small green flowers grow in inconspicuous clusters. 
    Usually the fruit is kidney-shaped, with each fruit hanging down on a long stalk.
    When the fruit is ripe, its skin is pinkish or yellowish, lightly flecked with black and brown.
    The flesh is yellow-orange and is succulent yet fibrous, especially where it attaches to the single large stone.
    Mango is commonly served in the American tropics in breakfast fruit platters and in fruit salad deserts.
    On some Caribbean islands, it is cooked as mango pie, mango brown Betty, and even mango mousse.        

    Genus MAURIA

  50. Mauria heterophylla  ______  CR

    Genus METOPLUM

  51. Metoplum toxiferum  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Caymans) (endangered in CY)
    "Poison Tree" 
    (name in CY)

    Genus SCHINUS

  52. Schinus molle  ______  (native to South America)
    Pepper Tree 
    (a tree with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Arbol de Pimienta, or Piru

    Genus SPONDIAS

  53. Spondias macrocarpa  ______  BR
    P: Caja Redondo

    The Caja Redondo is a fruit tree, native to the lower, sandy plateaus of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, in Espiritu Santo, part of Minas Gerais, and southern Bahia. It is not cultivated, and is rare in nature.

  54. Spondias mombin  ______  BR  CR
    Yellow Mombin
    P: Tapereba, or Caja Mirim

    In Brazil, the Yellow Mombin is a widespread fruit tree, native to the Amazon region and the Atlantic Forest, from Ceara to Rio de Janeiro. It occurs commonly in nature, and is occasionally cultivated,  

  55. Spondias purpurea  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:213)
    Spanish Plum 
    or Hog Plum, or Purple Mombin), or Red Mombin
    S: Ciruela, or Jocote 

    Although the Spanish "Ciruela" translates to "plum", the fruit bears no resemblance to the European plum, and they are not related. 
    Spondias purpurea is in the same family as the Mango (above).
    The Ciruela is oval-shaped and about 1 to 1 and a half inches in diameter. It has a large pit and little flesh.
    Depending on the variety, it turns yellow, orange, or red when it matures.
    It is native to southern Mexico and Central America.
    In the Yucatan region, there is great diversity with, it is said, 32 varieties. Each tree fruits at a different time of year, but the major abundance is from May to September.

    When mature, the Ciruela is made into a beverage or included in sorbets.

    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)       

  56. Spondias radikoferi  ______  CR

  57. Spondias tuberosa  ______  BR
    P: Imbu

    The Imbu is a fruit tree, native to the semi-arid region of northeast Brazil. It is found in scrublands from Ceara to northern Minas Gerais.  

  58. Spondias venulosa  ______  BR
    P: Caja Grande

    The Caja Grande is a fruit tree, rarely cultivated and scarce in nature, native to northern Rio de Janeiro state, southern and eastern Minas Gerais, and Espiritu Santo, and southern Bahia. 

    Genus TAPIRIRA

  59. Tapirira brenesii  ______  CR

    Family ANNONACEAE  (Custard Apples)


  60. Anaxagorea crassipetala  ______  CR

  61. Anaxagorea phaeocarpa  ______  CR

    Genus ANNONA

  62. Annona cacans  ______  BR
    P: Araticum Cagao

    The Araticum Cagao is a rarely cultivated fruit tree, native to semi-deciduous forest from Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro south to Rio Grande do Sul.

  63. Annona coriacea  ______  BR
    P: Araticum Liso,
    or Marolo

    The Aratcum Liso is a fruit tree not yet cultivated, native to scrublands from Bahia to Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, west to Mato Grosso do Sul where it is common.  

  64. Annona crassiflora  ______  BR
    P: Marolo

    The Marolo is a fruit tree not cultivated and common in nature, native to scrublands and cerrados from Bahia to Sao Paulo and west to Mato Grosso do Sul.

  65. Annona glabra  ______  BR
    Pond Apple
    P: Araticum de Brejo

    The Pond Apple is a fruit tree, no cultivated and common in nature, native to nearly all of the Brazilian coast.  

  66. Annona holosericea  ______  CR

  67. Annona montana ______  BR
    Mountain Soursop
    P: Araticum-acu

    In Brazil, the Mountain Soursop is a native fruit tree, only cultivated in home orchards, mainly in the Amazon region, by indigenous people. 
    It is also native in northern South America (in Brazil and other countries), and in some of the West Indies.    

  68. Annona muricata  (*) (ph)  ______  BR  CR  DR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:166)   native to the American tropics
    (a tree with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Guanabana,
    or Guanaba, or Graviola

    The Soursop Tree is found on many of the Caribbean islands, where its fruit is particularly popular.
    It is a fast-growing tree with small, shiny leaves and yellowish-green flowers.
    The fruit is large, oval-shaped, and green in color.
    Its skin has a distinct spiny surface, and so the fruit is easily recognized in markets and roadside stalls.
    Some fruits attain a length of 8 inches, and a weight of 6 pounds is not unusual.
    The inside of the fruit is whitish-pink, and the flesh has the consistency of thick custard.
    The fruit is seldom cooked. More frequently it is sieved and served as cream, or soursop ice cream. It also made into drinks and sherbet. It retains its flavor even after deep-freezing for a period of time.   

    One morning during a FONT tour in the Dominican Republic, along a back road
    way out in the countryside, we enjoyed some wonderful-tasting Soursop.
    Holding one, to the right in the picture, is our Dominican friend, Julio.  

    On the outside, the Soursop is not attractive. It is bulbous, ovoid, and bumpy, with a splotchy gray-green color, and covered with sharp yet flexible spines.
    But on the inside, the fruit can be savored. The white flesh is creamy, sweet yet slightly acidic, and exotically perfumed.
    The only negative is that there is a preponderance of black seeds requiring one to have patience while eating.

    In the Yucatan region of Mexico, Guanabana, as Soursop is called there, has been cultivated for a very long time. 
    It has a name in the Mayan language, which is typical only for species that go way back, centuries ago.
    Today, in that area, it is common to see Guanabana in family orchards.
    Mature fruits are broken open and consumed fresh, either with the fingers or with a spoon. 
    Liquefied, with water and sugar, it becomes the refreshing drink in that part of Mexico known as Agua Fresca.

    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)        

  69. Annona purpurea  ______  CR

  70. Annona reticulata  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (grows on various Caribbean islands and on the Yucatan Peninsula; now cultivated in the tropics globally)
    Custard Apple 
    (or Sugar Apple, or Bull's Heart
    S: Anona, or Anona Colorada, or Anona Roja, or Corazon

    Annona reticulata acquired its English names due to both its flavor and form: "Custard Apple" describes the flesh's creamy color, smooth texture, and delicately sweet taste. "Bull's Heart" refers to its symmetrical heart shape.
    The bulbous, lobed fruit, measuring about 3 to 6 inches wide, contains between 55 and 75 small seeds.
    The growing season for Annona reticulata in the Yucatan, and in nearby Belize and Guatemala, is December to March.

    In the Yucatan region of Mexico, the mature fruits of the Anona, as it is called there, are consumed fresh,
    The pulp may be served with a bit of sugar, or it may be mashed to be put in ice cream, sorbet, or "agua fresca" - a refresher made of water, pureed fruit, and sugar.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)

  71. Annona salzmannii  ______  BR
    Beach Sugar Apple
    Beach Araticum

    The Beach Sugar Apple is a fruit bearer, not cultivated, and rare in nature, in its natural habitat, the "restingas" (forest-covered sand dunes) and in the coastal forest zone, in northeastern Brazil  

  72. Annona squamosa  ______  MX(YU)  (native to the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    (or Sugar Apple)  (a tree with simple, alternating leaves) 
    P: Fruta do Conde
    S: Rinon,
    or Saramuyo


  73. Cymbopetalum costaricense  ______  CR


  74. Desmopsis bibracteata  ______  CR

  75. Desmopsis maxonii  ______  CR

  76. Desmopsis microcarpa  ______  CR

    Genus DUGUETIA

  77. Duguetia furfuracea  ______  BR
    P: Marolinho do Cerrado

    The Marolinho do Cerrado is a fruit tree, not cultivated, occurring commonly in its natural habitat from Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul. It favors sandy soil of the Atlantic Forest and the semi-deciduous forest of the Parana River basin.  

  78. Duguetia lanceolata  ______  BR
    P: Pindaiba

    The Pindaiba is a fruit bearer, not yet cultivated, and common in its natural habitat, from Minas Gerais west to Mato Grosso do Sul and south to Rio Grande do Sul, in sandy soil and semi-deciduous forest.    


  79. Guatteria aeruginosa  ______  CR

  80. Guatteria amplifolia  ______  CR

  81. Guatteria consanguinea  ______  CR

  82. Guatteria costaricensis  ______  CR

  83. Guatteria inuncta  _____  CR

  84. Guatteria tonduzii  ______  CR

  85. Guatteria verrucosa  ______  CR 

    Genus MONODORA

  86. Monodora myristica  ______  (native to tropical Africa, now on Caribbean islands)
    Calabash Nutmeg 
    (with simple, alternating leaves)

    Genus PORCELIA

  87. Porcelia macrocarpa  ______  BR
    Monkey Banana
    P: Banana de Macao

    The Monkey Banana is not cultivated and is rare in nature. It is native in Brazil from Minas Gerais south to Rio Grande do Sul, in the Atlantic Forest and the semi-deciduous forest of the Parana River basin. 

    Genus ROLLINIA

  88. Rollinia emarginata  ______  BR
    P: Araticum Mirim

    The Corosul is a fruit tree that is seldom cultivated and uncommon in nature. It is native to sandy areas (restingas) in southern Brazil.

  89. Rollinia microsepala  ______  CR

  90. Rollinia mucosa  ______  BR
    Wild Soursop 
    (or Wild Cashina)
    P: Biriba

    The Biriba is a fruit tree that is widely cultivated in domestic orchards, mainly in the Amazon region.
    It also occurs in Brazil in the Atlantic Forest, from Pernambuco south to Rio d Janeiro. 

  91. Rollinia sylvatica  ______  BR
    P: Araticum do Mato

    The Araticum do Mato is a fruit tree rarely cultivated, but relatively common in its natural habitat. It occurs from Pernambuco south to Minas Gerais and west to Mato Grosso do Sul, and as far south as Rio Grande do Sul, in the Atlantic Forest, semi-deciduous forest, high forest, and costal sandy areas (restingas).    


  92. Sapranthus palanga  ______  CR
    "Costa Rica Stinking Flower"
    S: Palanco, or Guineo

    Sapranthus palanga
    is a small to moderately-sized annonaceous tree that bears cauliflorous flowers on its main trunk. The flowers are pollinated by flies and smell like decaying organic matter (in other words, badly - they stink).
    The flowers are light green when they are maturing. They are a dark purple when mature (in the mid-rainy season, August-September)..
    The species ranges from Mexico to Panama. In Costa Rica, it is in Guanacaste.

    The densely tomentose large leaves of Sapranthus palanga are fed on by the larvae of several species of sphinx moths, and larvae of at least two species of swallowtail butterflies in the genus Eurytides.
    The leaves of Sapranthus palanga are generally rejected by leaf-cutter ants.  


  93. Unonopsis pittieri  ______  CR

    Genus XYLOPIA

  94. Xylopia sericophylla  ______  CR 

    Family APIACEAE  (Parsley, or Celery family)

    includes UMBELLIFERAE

    Included in the family are: celery, cumin, fennel, carrots, and parsley 

    Genus CENTELLA

  95. Centella asiatica  ______  CY 

    Genus CICLOSPERMUM  (has been APIUM)

  96. Ciclospermum leptophyllum  ______  CR  

    Ciclospermum leptophyllum and Foeniculum vulgare (below in this list) are host plants in Costa Rica and Panama for the subspecies of the Black Swallowtail occurring there, Papilio polyxenes stabilis. 


  97. Coriandrum sativum  ______  MX(YU)  (native to the Old World, from Europe; used in cooking in the Americas) 
    (or Coriander)
    S: Cilantro

    is a herb that is widely used in the cuisine of all of Mexico, lending a characteristically light, refreshing flavor.
    In some places in Mexico, it is still called, as it was historically, "Culantro", an old Spanish word, but it should not be confused with Eryngium foetidum (below), a native plant of Mexico also known as Culantro.
    Referring to Cilantro in the Yucatan region of Mexico, a colonial-era chronicle mentions it but uses the archaic word:
    "There are in this land, plants brought from outside, such as garlic, mint, and culantro, parsley, and mustard".
    The statement indicates that "Culantro" was the name applied to Coriandrum sativum, which was brought from "the outside" as Eryngium foetidum is native.
    (from the book "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)

    Genus DAUCUS

  98. Daucus sp.  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Daucus species are food plants for the butterfly Strymon bazochii, the Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak. 

    Genus ERYNGIUM

  99. Eryngium foetidum  ______  MX(YU)
    Sawtooth Coriander 
    (or Long Coriander, or Mexican Coriander, or Spiritweed)
    S: Culantro,
    or Perejil Criollo   

    Culantro is one of those wonderful ingredients native to the Tropical Americas that has been dispersed throughout the world after European contact, forever impacting global cuisines.
    Today, Culantro is one of the most important flavorings in Asia in the cuisines of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
    In the Western Hemisphere, Culantro is a primary component in the sofritos of Puerto Rico.
    It is rarely if ever consumed in the northern lowlands of the Mayan region, including the Yucatan, but it is of some importance in the Peten area of Guatemala and in the Mexican state of Tabasco, areas more favorable to is growth.

    The two herbs of Culantro and Cilantro (above) have a rather similar flavor and aroma, but that of Culantro is much stronger and longer lasting.
    Culantro has long, spiked leaves while Cilantro has rounded, convoluted leaves.

    In the regions where Culantro grows, it is used in soups, stews, and salads, as well as in Tabasco some popular table salsas.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)      


  100. Foeniculum vulgare  ______  CR

    See note above with Ciclospermum.


  101. Myrrhidendron donnellsmithii  ______  CR  (TPCR:307)   occurs from southern Mexico to Panama
    S: Arracachillo

    Family APOCYNACEAE  (Dogbanes)


  102. Allamanda cathartica  ______  CR  (TPCR:114)   native to northeastern South America, now an ornamental elsewhere in the tropics
    or Yellow Allamanda, or Golden Trumpet  (a climbing plant with simple opposite leaves)
    S: Amanda, or Copa de Oro, or Bejuco de San Jose (in Costa Rica)


  103. Ambelania acida  ______  BR
    P: Pepino do Mato

    The Pepino do Mato is a fruit tree rarely cultivated, but easily found in its natural habitat in the dry forest of the Lower Amazon region.  


  104. Aspidosperma megalocarpon  ______  CR


  105. Cascabela thevetia  ______  CR  (TPCR:115)
    Yellow Oleander
    S: Chirca

    Cascabela thevetia
    is now an ornamental from the southern US to South America. It appears to be growing as a native plant in second-growth in spiny forest in Mexico and in some inter-Andean valleys in Peru. It sometimes escapes from cultivation. 
    In Costa Rica, it occurs from 300 to 3,600 feet above sea level. 

    Genus COUMA

  106. Couma utilis  ______  BR
    Brazilian Sorva
    P: Sorvinha

    The Brazilian Sorva is a fruit tree of the Amazon region, rarely cultivated but commonly found in forests and open fields in its natural range. 

    Genus ECHNITES

  107. Echnites umbellata  ______  CY
    White Nightshade


  108. Funastrum clausum  ______  DR
    White Twinevine

    Funastrum clausum
    is a climbing plant with white flowers, in lowland xeric habitat.

    In the Dominican Republic, Funastrum clausum is a food plant for the butterflies: Danaus gilippus, the Queen. Danaus eresimus, the Soldier. At such plants, D. eresimus seems to far outnumber D. gilippus.


  109. Hancornia speciosa  ______  BR
    P: Mangaba

    The Mangaba is a fruit tree native to scrublands (the caatinga) of central Brazil, and other areas in the country having the same vegetation. It is rarely cultivated, but easily found in its native habitat. 

  110. Hancornia speciosa (var. pubescens)  ______  BR
    P: Mangaba do Cerrado

    The Mangaba do Cerrado is a fruit tree native to savannas (cerrdos) in central Brazil, and other areas in the country having the same vegetation. It is rarely cultivated, and easily found in its natural habitat.


  111. Lacmellea panamensis  ______  CR


  112. Mandevilla splendens  ______  (originally grew in southeastern Brazil)
    Pink Mandevilla 
    (climbing plant with simple, opposite leaves)


  113. Pentalinon luteum  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)
    Yellow Nightshade

    Genus PLUMERIA

  114. Plumeria rubra  ______  CR  GU  (TPCR:329,330)  (native from Mexico to Colombia, and in the West Indies)
    (or Temple Tree (a bush with simple, alternating leaves) 
    S: Amipola, or El Palo de la Cruz, or Juche 

  115. Plumeria obtusa  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)  (endangered in CY) 


  116. Rauvolfia nitida  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)  (critically endangered in CY) 

  117. Rauvolfia purpurascens  ______  CR


  118. Rhabdadenia biflora  ______  CY


  119. Stemmadenia alfari  ______  CR

  120. Stemmadenia donnell-smithii  ______  CR
    S:  Huevos de Caballo, or Cojones de Chancho

  121. Stemmadenia glabra  ______  CR

  122. Stemmadenia macrantha  ______  CR

  123. Stemmadenia obovata  ______  CR


  124. Tabernaemontana arborea  ______  CR

  125. Tabernaemontana chrysocarpa  ______  CR

  126. Tabernaemontana laurifolia  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands)  (endangered)
    Wild Jasmine 

    Genus THEVETIA

  127. Thevetia ovata  ______  CR

  128. Thevetia peruviana  ______  (originally grew in the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    Be-still Tree 
    (or Yellow Oleander (bush with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Adelfa Amarilla

    Family APODANTHACEAE  (some endoparasitic herbs)


  129. Pilostyles globosa  (var. caymanensis)  ______  CY  (endemic to the Caymans)

    Family ARACEAE  (Aroids)


  130. Anthurium andraeanum  ______  (native to Colombia)
    Flamingo Lily 
    (herbaceous plant)
    S: Cresta de Gallo
    , or Lengua del Diablo

    Genus CALADIUM

  131. Caladium bicolor  ______  (native to northern South America)
    Heart of Jesus 
    (or "Mother-in-law Plant")  (an herbaceous plant)
    S: Corazon de Jesus


  132. Colocasia esculenta  ______  CR  (TPCR:168)  
    (an herbaceous perennial plant)

    Colocasia esculenta  (var. esculenta)  ______ 
      grows on Caribbean islands

    Colocasia esculenta is originally from southern Asia. It now grows on Caribbean islands; cultivated in Costa Rica. 

    Genus MONSTERA

  133. Monstera delicioso  ______  (native to Central America)
    (a climbing plant with simple alternating leaves)
    P: Banana de Macaco
    S: Harpon,
    or Hojadilio, or Pinanona

    Other names for Monstera delicioso are Split Leaf  Philodendron and Swiss Cheese Plant. 

  134. Monstera tenuis  ______  CR
    S: Chirravaca,
    or Mano de Tigre, or Monstera


  135. Montrichardia arborescens  ______  CR  (TPCR:247,248)   occurs from Guatemala south to northern South America, also in the West Indies


    Taxonomically, the genus PHILODENDRON is still poorly known, with many undescribed species. 

  136. Philodendron sp.  ______  BR 

  137. Philodendron hederaceum  ______  CY

  138. Philodendron radiatum  ______  CR  (TCR:249)   occurs from Mexico to Panama
    Dubia Philodendron
    S: Cobija de Pobre  


  139. Spathiphyllum floribundum  ______   native to Panama and Colombia
    Peace Lily 
    (a herbaceous plant) 


  140. Xanthosoma sagittifolium  ______  CR  (TPCR:168)   originally from the American tropics

  141. Xanthosoma yucantanense  ______  MX(YU)
    Elephant Ear
    S: Makal, or Malanga 

    Family ARALIACEAE  (Aralias)


  142. Dendropanax albertii-smithii  ______  CR

  143. Dendropanax arboreus  ______  CR  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    (name in CY)

  144. Dendropanax cuneatum  ______  BR
    P: Maria-Mole

    that feed on the fruits of Dendropanax cuneatum include thrushes and tanagers.

  145. Dendropanax gonatopodus  ______  CR

  146. Dendropanax praestans  ______  CR

  147. Dendropanax stenodonius  ______  CR 


  148. Didymopanax morototoni  ______  BR
    P: Mandiocao

    that feed on the fruits of Didymopanax morototoni are principally toucans, and guans including piping-guans, and the Violaceous Euphonia, and Spot-winged Wood-Quail.   

  149. Didymopanax pittieri  ______  CR

  150. Didymopanax tremulus  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in clouds forests: Cordillera Central, Bahoruco)
    Tremulus Tree
    S: Palo de Viento 


  151. Oreopanax nubigenum  ______  CR

  152. Oreopanax oerstedianum  ______  CR

  153. Oreopanax salapensis  ______  CR


    13 species of SCHEFFLERA grow in Costa Rica. 

  154. Schefflera morototoni  ______  CR

  155. Schefflera robusta  ______  CR  (TPCR:284)

  156. Schefflera rodriguesiana  ______  CR  (TPCR:284)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama
    S: Papayillo


  157. Sciadodendron excelsum  ______  CR

    Family ARAUCARIACEAE  (Araucarias)


  158. Araucaria heterophylla  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:119)   originally on Norfolk Island east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean, now an ornamental many places in the neotropics and in the Caribbean  
    Norfolk Island Pine 
    (a coniferous tree)

    Family ARECACEAE  (was PALMAE)  (Palms)   


  159. Acrocomia aculeata  ______  BR  MX(YU)  (ranges from southern Mexico to northern Argentina)
    Macauba Palm
    P: Macauba
    S: Cocoyol, or Coyol

    Other names for Acrocomia aculeata are Macaw Palm, Coyol Palm and Grugru Palm. It is not a cultivated tree.
    It is generally found on barren lands and in semi-deciduous forests.

    In markets in the Yucatan region of Mexico, many small, round fruits can be seen bobbing about in dark pools of sugar syrup in colorful plastic tubs . Some of them may be Ciruela or Nance. 
    Others are Cocoyol, a member of the palm family.
    Cocoyol is a favorite treat of children, a "fun food" like jawbreakers.     
    The nut of the Cocoyol has a thin coating of what seems somewhat like coconut meat covering an extremely hard shell.
    The whole nut goes in the mouth, and is chewed and sucked to get off all the sweet flesh, a process that can take hours or even days.
    Finally, when none of the meat is left, the children place the nut on a stone and use another stone to smash it open.
    Inside is a very hard kernel, resembling a hazelnut, but tastes like coconut - the prize for all the hard work of mastication.

    The fruits of the Cocoyol are spherical, from 1 to 1 and a half inches in diameter. 
    In the Yucatan, Cocoyol fruits are harvested from October to January.
    In that area, the hard outer shell is also carved into buttons and beads.
    (from the book: "Yucatan , Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)     

  160. Acrocomia sclerocarpa  ______  BR
    Bocaiuva Palm

    Acrocomia sclerocarpa
    has been (and still is) considered a variety of Acrocomia aculeata, the Macauba Palm (above).
    They are often solitary in drier areas. Trunks are occasionally swollen near the middle. 

  161. Acrocomia vinifera  ______  CR

    Genus AIPHANES

  162. Aiphanes aculeata  ______  BR
    Coyupe Palm
    P: Cariota de Espinho

    The Coyupe Palm is a fruit bearer, cultivated in some tropical regions in Brazil, as an ornamental. It is not common in its natural habitat, in the western part of the state of Acre, in dry land forests with well-drained soil.  


  163. Allagoptera arenaria  ______  BR
    Guriri Palm
    P: Buriri

    The Guriri Palm is, in Brazil, a native fruit bearer, occasionally cultivated as an ornamental. It is native to the coast (the restingas and coastal beaches) from Sergipe to Parana, and relatively common.  


  164. Asterogyne martiana  ______  CR


  165. Astrocaryum aculeatum (or tucuma (*)  ______  BR
    Tucuman Palm
    P: Tucuma, or Tucuma do Amazonas

    The Tucuman Palm is, in Brazil, native to Amazon dry forests, south to Mato Grosso and west to Acre and Rondonia. It is relatively common. It is not cultivated.    

  166. Astrocaryum alatum  ______  CR

  167. Astrocaryum murumuru  (*)  ______  BR
    P: Murumuru

    The Murumuru is not a cultivated fruit tree. It is relatively common in nature, in areas of the Amazon forest that are temporarily flooded and in dry forest in the Barzilian states of Para, Amazonas, Acre, and Rondonia. 
    It is a solitary or cespitose palm from 6 to 45 feet tall.  

  168. Astrocaryum standleyanum  ______  CR

  169. Astrocaryum vulgare  (*)  ______  BR
    Fiber Palm
    P: Tucuma do Para

    The Fiber Palm is not a cultivated tree. It is abundant in nature, in dryland forests in Brazil in Para, Maranhao, and Tocantins, mainly in sandy soils and disturbed areas.

    Genus ATTALEA

  170. Attalea dubia  (*)  ______  BR
    P: Indaia

    Attalea dubia
    is not cultivated, and it is abundant in it natural habitat in Brazil in the Atlantic Forest, from Espiritu Santo south to Santa Catarina, mainly in the littoral plains and in disturbed areas.

    Genus BACTRIS

  171. Bactris ferruginea  ______  BR
    P: Mane Vein

    Bactris ferruginea is native in Brazil in the Atlantic Forest from Pernambuco to southern Bahia. It is not cultivated, and easily found in nature.

  172. Bactris gasipaes  ______  CR  (grows in tropical America, origin unknown; ranges now Nicaragua to Bolivia)
    Pejibaye Palm 
    (also called Peach Palm)  (a feather palm tree)
    P: Pupunha
    S: Chontas,
    or Pejibaye

    Although the range of Bactris gasipaes is, as noted above, from Nicaragua to Bolivia, only in Costa Rica, and to a lesser extent, in Panama, is the delicious fruit from this palm a popular food item.
    During the wet season in Costa Rica, it is common to see the small, reddish palm fruits of the Pejibaye Palm for sale at the market and along the streets of San Jose.     

  173. Bactris guinensis  ______  CR

  174. Bactris hondurensis  ______  CR

    Bactris honedurensis
    has been found to be a host plant for the rare brassoline nymphalid butterfly, Opsiphanes zelotes.  

  175. Bactris longiseta  ______  CR

  176. Bactris major  ______  CR

  177. Bactris maraja  (*)  ______  BR
    P: Maraja

    The Maraja is not cultivated, and abundant in nature, in dry land forests or areas that are temporarily flooded  in the Amazon region. 

  178. Bactris porschiana  ______  CR

  179. Bactris setosa  (*)  ______  BR
    Jucum Palm
    P: Jucum

    The Jucum Palm is not cultivated. It is common in nature, in the understory of the Atlantic Forest, from southern Bahia to Rio Grand do sul, mainly in damp soils or swampy areas.

    Genus BORASSUS

  180. Borassus flabellifer  ______  (native to southern Asia, now widespread in the American tropics) 
    Lontar Palm 
    (a fan palm tree)

    Genus BUTIA

  181. Butia capitata  (*)  ______  BR
    Jelly Palm
    P: Butia Azedo

    The Jelly Palm is not cultivated nor is it common in nature. It occurs naturally in savannas and barren lands in Brazil in western Bahia, northwestern Minas Gerais, and northeastern Goias.
    It is a solitary palm, about 12 to 15 feet tall.

  182. Butia eriospatha  (*)  ______  BR
    Woolly Jelly Palm
    P: Butia Veludo

    The Woolly Jelly Palm is a fruit bearer that is widely cultivated in hilly regions in southern Brazil, where it is native to areas with Araucaria forests, and where it is still common.
    It is a solitary palm, about 12 to 15 feet tall.    

  183. Butia purpurascens  ______  BR
    Purple Yatay Palm
    P: Butia Jatai

    The Purple Yatay Palm is not cultivated and it is seriously threatened in its natural habitat of semi-deciduous forest and savannas in Brazil in southern Goias and southwestern Minas Gerais.
    It is a solitary palm, about 3 to 12 feet tall.


  184. Calyptrogyne sarapiquensis  ______  CR


  185. Chamaedorea exorrhiza  ______  CR


  186. Coccothrinax proctorii  ______  CY  (endemic to the Cayman Islands)  (endangered)
    Silver Thatch

  187. Coccothrinax spissa  (*)  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in Peravia province)
    S: Guanito de Paya,
    or Guanito de Bani 

  188. Coccothrinax scoparia  ______  DR   (occurs in the Sierra de Bahoruco)

    Genus COCOS

  189. Cocos nucifera (*)  ______  BR  CR  MX(YU)  (native to the tropics by the western Pacific Ocean) 
    Coconut Palm 
    (a feather palm tree)
    S: Coco

    The Coconut is one of the most used plants in the world, and every part of it is used. It produces a beverage, fiber, food, fuel, and even utensils.
    The edible part of the fruit measures about 4 to 6 inches in diameter. 
    Generally, where it grows, the Coconut is available year-round.

    An impressive sight in the markets of the Yucatan of Mexico are the numerous burlap bags filled to overflowing with hairy coconuts.
    And always nearby there is someone ready to wield a machete, to hack away at the hard exterior to expose the sweet meat inside.
    In the Yucatan, the meat of the Coconut is consumed with a sprite of lime juice and a sprinkle of ground chile.
    Whole peeled Coconuts are stacked on ice, with a straw penetrating a small hole at the top and into the coconut water inside, sold as a refreshing drink.
    Many deserts feature Coconut, such as Pay de Coco, or Coconut Macaroon Pie, and Pastelitos, fruit-filled crescent pastries.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling.

    The Coconut Palm tree grows to from 15 to 60 feet tall. The trunk is irregularly ringed. 

    During an early FONT tour in the Caribbean, we had a local guide who called himself Sir Walter Raleigh. 
    As part of our breakfast, he had coconuts for us in the trunk of his car. 
    As he held the Coconut in one hand, he would cut it using a machete in his other hand.


  190. Copernicia alba (*)  ______  BR
    Carunda Palm

    The Carunda Palm is the dominant tree in the palm savannah areas of the Pantanal in Brazil. They are often surrounded by extensive grassy areas.

  191. Copernicia berteroana  (*)  ______  DR  (in the Dominican Republic, near Lake Enriquillo)
    S: La Palmera Yarey  

  192. Copernicia macroglossa  ______  (said to be originally from Cuba)
    Petticoat Palm 
    (a fan palm tree)


  193. Cryosophila albiba  ______  CR

  194. Cryosophila guagara  ______  CR
    Fan Palm  
    (a fan palm tree)
    S: Guagara

    Genus DESMONCUS  
    more study is needed of this genus in the American tropics

  195. Desmoncus schippii  ______  CR  (TPCR:249)   occurs from Belize to Costa Rica
    S: Matamba

    Desmoncus schippii has been found to be a host plant for the rare brassoline nymphalid butterfly, Opsiphanes zelotes. 

    Genus ELAEIS

  196. Elaeis guineensos  ______  CR  (native to west Africa)
    Oil Palm 
    (a feather palm tree)
    S: Palma de Aceite

  197. Elaeis melanococca  ______  CR

    Genus EUTERPE

  198. Euterpe edulis  ______  BR
    Jussara Palm
    P: Jucara, or Palmito Duce

    The Jussara Palm is a fruit bearer that is seldom cultivated, and seriously threatened in its natural habitat, the Atlantic Forest in Brazil from southern Bahia and Minas Gerais south to Rio Grande do Sul.
    It is also in gallery forest of the Parana River basin, and Mato Grosso do Sul (and in parts of Goias, Sao Paulo, and Parana).      

  199. Euterpe macrospadis  ______  CR

  200. Euterpe oleracea  (*)  ______  BR
    Assai Palm
    P: Acai do Para

    The Assai Palm is a fruit bearer that is occasionally cultinvated. It is native in Brazil in the states of para, Tocantins, Maranhao, and Amapa, all in the Amazonian region. It occurs in fertile forests, both wet and dry, where the trees grow in large colonies. 

  201. Euterpe precatoria  (*)  ______  BR
    Forest Assai Palm
    P: Acai da Mata

    The Forest Assai Palm is not cultivated. It is native in Brazil to the states of Acre, Amazonas, Para, and Rondonia, all in the Amazonian region, where it occurs in damp forests and near rivers, and in areas taht are periodically flooded. It grows to from 12 to 60 feet tall. 

    Genus GEONOMA

  202. Geonoma ferruginea  ______  CR

  203. Geonoma interrupta  ______  CR

  204. Geonoma longevaginata  ______  CR

  205. Geonoma seleri  ______  CR

    Genus IRIARTEA

  206. Iriartea gigantea  ______  CR


  207. Manicaria saccifera  ______  CR  (TPCR:250) 
    Sea Coconut
    S: Silico

    Manicaria saccifera
    occurs along the Caribbean coast in Central America, along the northern Pacific coast in South America, and in part of the Amazon region.  

    The fruit seed, which can float for two years, has been carried to Europe by the Gulf Stream. 

    Genus MAURITIA

  208. Mauritia flexuosa  (*)  ______  BR
    Mauritia Palm 
    (a fan palm tree)
    P: Buriti, or Miriti

    Other names for Mauritia flexuosa are Moriche Palm and Buriti Palm.

    Mauritia flexuosa
    is not cultivated. It is common in Brazil in its natural habitat in all of the Amazon region, and in all of central Brazil south to the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, occurring in damp gallery forests by rivers and in areas that are periodically, or seasonally inundated by water.  

    Buriti Palms are important trees in parts of Brazil for the large, spectacular, and endangered Hyacinth Macaw, as are some other palm trees listed here, including:
    in the Pantanal of Brazil, Acrocomia sclerocarpa (above), and Scheelea phalerata (below)
    in the Amazonian region: Astrocaryum tucuma (above), Maximiliana regia (below), Orbignya martina (below).

    The diet of the Hyacinth Macaw consists primarily of the locally available nuts of these various palms noted here.
    The palm nuts are taken from the plant, or on the ground - with the latter sometimes as undigested remains in cattle droppings.
    Also, the macaws drink fluid from unripe palm fruits.
    The nests of Hyacinth Macaws are in hollow palm trees, including Mauritia flexuosa.
    In the northern part of the bird's range, it also nests in Enterolobium cyclocarpum, the large Earpod Tree, in the family FABACEAE.

    During a FONT tour in the southern Pantanal region, in Mato Grosso do Sul, we stayed at a remote lodge where we had some wonderful experiences the big Hyacinth Macaw, the largest of all the psittacids in the world.
    We observed them both near and further away, as "in the wild" they were sometimes at a distance. 
    But others we saw closely as the birds fed on palm nuts, that had been gathered from local trees and then placed on a large feeding tray, by the restaurant where we ate our own meals. 

    A Hyacinth Macaw photographed during 
    a FONT tour in Brazil


  209. Maximiliana maripa  (*)  ______  BR
    P: Inaja

    Maximiliana maripa is not cultivated. However, it is abundant in nature, occurring in Brazil in all of the Amazon region and south to Mato Grosso do Sul. It is found in dry land forests and open areas.  

  210. Maximiliana regia  ______  BR    


  211. Oenocarpus bacaba  (*)  ______  BR
    Bacaba Palm  (or Turu Palm)
    P: Bacaba Assu

    The Bacaba, or Turu Palm is not cultivated, but it is abundant in its natural habitat, in Brazil, in teh states of Acre, Amazonas, and Para in areas of dry land tropical forests.

  212. Oenocarpus batana  ______  BR
    P: Pataua 

    Oenocarpus batana
    is not cultivated. In nature, it is easily found in damp flood plain forests and gallery forests that can be flooded, as well as in dry land forests, throughout the Amazon region.

  213. Oenocarpus distichus  ______  BR
    P: Bacaba de Leque

    Not cultivated, Oenocarpus distichus is abundant in nature, occurring in Brazil, in Para, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Goias, and Rondonia in dry land forests and transitional vegetation of the savannas (cerrados). 

  214. Oenocarpus panamensis  ______  CR

    Genus ORBIGNYA

  215. Orbignya martiana  ______  BR

  216. Orbignya phalerata  ______  BR
    American Oil Palm
    P: Babacu

    In Brazil, the American Oil Palm is not cultivated, but it is abundant in nature in all of northern Brazil, Piaui, and Mato Grosso. It is found in dry land forests and in open areas.


  217. Pholidostachys pulchra  ______  CR

    Genus PRESTOEA

  218. Prestoea decurrens  ______  CR

    Prestoea decurrens
    has been found to be a host plant for the rare brassoline nymphalid butterfly, Opsiphanes zelotes.


  219. Pseudophoenix ekamnii  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in Oviedo) (critically endangered)
    Dominican Cherry Palm 

    Genus RAPHIA

  220. Raphia taedigera  ______  CR  (TPCR:251)  (probably introduced in tropical America; see note below) 
    S: Yolillo

    Raphia taedigera
    may well have been introduced in the Americas as all of the other 28 species in the genus grow in Africa and Madagascar. In the Americas, it occurs from Nicaragua to Colombia, and in one area in Brazil near the mouth of the Amazon. 


  221. Reinhardtia paiwonskiana  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in the Sierra de Bahoruco at about 2,500 ft above sea level) (a critically endangered species)
    Bahoruco Sierra Palm
    S: Palma Coquito

    Most Reinhardtia in the world are tiny palms, usually seen as potted plants. But in its genus, Reinhardtia paiwonskiana is a giant, growing to about 35 feet high, with a trunk diameter of over 5 inches.

    Reinhardtia paiwonskiana was described to science in 1987, and the species in the Dominican Republic is the only known member of its genus in the West Indies. It is also the most tropical in is genus.
    And in contrast with other Reinhardtia, it is a solitary pinnate palm that likes full sun.
    Reinhardtia paiwonskiana is rarely seen in the wild or in cultivation.     


  222. Roystonea borinquena  (ph)  ______
    Puerto Rican Royal Palm 
    (a feather palm tree)

    A Puerto Rican Royal Palm photographed during a FONT Caribbean tour
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 

  223. Roystonea hispaniolana  (ph)  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, where widespread)
    Hispaniolan Royal Palm
    S: Palma Real 

    Roystonea hispaniolana
    occurs in transition forests, humid forests, rain forests.

    Above: looking up into a Hispaniolan Royal Palm.
    This part of the tree is a favored haunt of a bird called the Palmchat,
    a bird endemic to Hispaniola and the only member of its genus and family.
    Below: the Palmchat
    (both photos by Marie Gardner, during a FONT tour in the Dominican Republic)    

  224. Roystonea regia  ______  CY  (said to be originally from Cuba)  (endangered in CY)
    Royal Palm 
    (a feather palm tree)

    Genus SABAL

  225. Sabal domingensis  ______  DR  (occurs on Hispaniola and Cuba)
    Hispaniola Palmetto

    Genus SCHEELIA

  226. Scheelia butyracea  ______  BR
    P: Jaci, or Aricuri

    in Brazil, Scheelia butyracea is not cultivated, but it is easily found in its natural habitat in Acre and the western part of Amazonas, in dry land forests and open areas. 

  227. Scheelia phalerata  (*)  ______  BR
    Bacuri Palm
    P: Bacuri

    The Bacuri Palm is not cultivated, but it is abundant in nature, in Brazil, on the Central Plateau, in Acre, from Para to Sao Paulo state, and in the Pantanal area of Mato Grosso. It is found in dry land forests and open areas.    

  228. Scheelia rostrata  ______  CR

    Genus SOCRATEA

  229. Socratea durissima  ______  CR

    Genus SYAGRUS

  230. Syagrus cearensis  ______  BR
    P: Catole

    Syagrus cearensis
    is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental, and it is still found in its natural habitat in Brazil in Ceara, Pernambuco, Paraiba, and Alagoas. It is found in seasonal vegetation, on hills and sierras, along the Atlantic coast, as well as in transitional areas of the caatinga or scrublands.
    It is a cespitose palm that forms clumps with 2 to 5 arched stems. But it is occasionally solitary.

  231. Syagrus coronata  ______  BR
    Licury Palm
    P: Licuri

    The Licury Palm is cultivated as an ornamental. In Brazil, it is native to the east side of the San Francisco River in Bahia, northern Minas Gerais, Sergipe, Alagoas, and Pernambuco. It is common in the scrublands (caatinga). 

  232. Syagrus flexuosa  (*)  ______  BR
    P: Acuma

    Syagrus flexuosa is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental. It is native to the savannas (cerrado) of central Brazil and it occurs also in the Brazilian states of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul.  
    It is a cespitose palm, 6 to 12 feet tall with an arching ringed trunk, growing in clumps of 5 to 10 stems.  


  233. Synecanthus warscewiczianus  ______  CR

    Genus THRINAX

  234. Thrinax radiata  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)  (critically endangered in CY) 
    Bull Thatch 
    (name in CY)


  235. Washingtonia filifera ______  (originally grew in more humid places in dry areas of California and Arizona, now in the humid tropics in parks)   
    Desert Palm 
    (or California Fan Palm (as in the names, a fan palm tree)
    S: Palma de Castilla, Palma de Abanico ("Fan Palm") 

    Washington filifera is a desert species only in the sense that it grows within desert boundaries. It is a relict species from a time when what is now a desert was an area receiving abundant rain and was covered by a tropical forest. Today, in its original range, the Desert Palm grows only around springs and along streams.

    Genus WELFIA

  236. Welfia georgii  ______  CR

  237. Welfia regia  ______  CR  (TPCR:237)   occurs from Honduras to Ecuador
    Welfia Palm
    S: Palma Conga

    Family ARAUCARIACEAE  (Araucarias)


  238. Araucaria heterophylla  ______  (native to Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean)
    Norfolk Island Pine 
    (a coniferous tree)

    Family ARISTOLOCHIACEAE  (Pipevines, Bladderworts, Birthworts)


  239. Aristolochia gigantea  ______  (originally grew from Panama to the Amazon)
    Pelican Flower
      (climbing plant with simple, alternating leaves) 

    Family ASCLEPIADACEAE  (Milkweeds, Silkweeds)

    What has been the family ASCLEPIADACEAE is now the subfamily ASCLEPIADOIDEAE in APOCYNACEAE, the Dogbanes. 

    Genus ASCLEPIAS 

  240. Asclepias curassavica  ______  CR  DR  GU  (TPCR:80)   occurs naturally in Central and South America, the West Indies, Mexico, and Florida in the US
    (or Orange, or Tropical Milkweed)   (a bush with simple, alternate leaves) 
    P: Oficial da Sala
    S: numerous names including: Algodoncillo,
    or Corcalito, or Flor de Sangre, or Mata Caballo, or Bailarina, or Mal Casada, or Yuquillo, or Viborana (in Costa Rica)

    Another name for Asclepias curassavica is Bloodflower. The same, one of the many Spanish name for the plant is: "Flor de Sangre".

    In the Dominican Republic, Asclepias curassavica is a food plant for the butterfly Papilio machaonides, the Machaonides Swallowtail.

  241. Asclepias nivea  ______  DR
    Caribbean Milkweed

    In the Dominican Republic, Asclepias nivea is a food plant for the butterflies: Anetia jaegeri, the Hispaniolan King, Danaus gilippus, the Queen, Danaus plexippus, the Monarch, Danaus cleophile, the Caribbean Queen or Jamaican Monarch. 

    A Hispaniolan King
    photographed during a FONT tour
    (photo by Marie Gardner)


  242. Metastelma palustre  ______  CY

  243. Metastelma picardae  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands)  


  244. Sarcostemma clausum  ______  CY

    Family ASTERACEAE (or COMPOSITAE)  (Asters, Sunflowers) 

    With about 1,100 genera & 20,000 species in this large, worldwide family; making this and the Orchid Family (ORCHIDACEAE) the two largest plant families.

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, there are about 335 described species in ASTERACEAE.

    Genus AGERATUM

  245. Ageratum conyzoides  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Ageratum conyzoides is a food plant for the butterflies: Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail, Strymon istapa, the Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon bazochii, the Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak, Anartia lytrea, the Goddard's Anartia, Anetia pantherata, the Great King, Anetia jaegeri, the Hispaniolan King, Danaus gilippus, the Queen, Danaus eresimus, the Soldier, Danaus cleophile, the Caribbean Queen or Jamaican Monarch.   

    A Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak photographed
    during a FONT tour in the Dominican Republic
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 

  246. Ageratum littorale  ______  CY

  247. Ageratum sp.  ______  CR  (TPCR:82)

    Genus AMBROSIA

  248. Ambrosia hispida  ______  CY  (native to the entire Caribbean, Central America, northern South America) 
    Sweet Bay

    Other names for Ambrosia hispida are Bay Gerina, Bay Tansy, Wormwood, Soap Bush. In the Cayman Islands it is called "Geranium".
    It grows in sandy dune area along shorelines. 

    Genus ASTER

  249. Aster subulatus  (var. cubensis)  ______  CY


  250. Baccharis dioca  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)

    Genus BIDENS

  251. Bidens pilosa  ______  DR  

    In the Dominican Republic, Bidens pilosa is a food plant for the butterflies: Strymon istapa, the Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon bazochii, the Lantana Scrub-Hairsteak, Anetia pantherata, the Great King, Danaus gilippus, the Queen, Danaus eresimus, the Soldier. 


  252. Borrichia arborescens  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)
    Bay Candlewood


  253. Chuquiraga spinosa  ______  EC  PE

    Chuquiraga spinosa
    is the favored food source of the high-altitude hummingbird, the Andean Hillstar.    

    Genus CIRSIUM

  254. Cirsium mexicanum  ______  CR

    In Costa Rica, Cirsium mexicanum occurs in pastures below 6,000 feet above sea level. It is a purple-flowered species, shorter than Cirsium subcoriaceum (below).

  255. Cirsium subcoriaceum  ______  CR  (TPCR:317)   occurs from Mexico to Panama
    Plume Thistle
    S: Cardo

    In Costa Rica, Cirsium subcoriaceum occurs mostly from 6,000 to 10,200 feet above sea level.

    The Volcano Hummingbird uses the silky hairs of the seeds of Plume Thistle to line its nest.


  256. Clibadium leiocarpum  ______  CR

    Genus CRITONIA

  257. Critonia daleoides  ______  CR

    Genus DAHLIA

  258. Dahlia coccinea (or popenovii) (ph)  ______  GU

    Dahlia coccinea,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  259. Dahlia maxoni  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Flor de Santa Catarina

    Dahlia maxoni,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"


    Plants in the genus ESPELETIA are commonly known as FRAILEJON, native mainly in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. It also occurs in the high country in Costa Rica.  
    The plants, in high altitudes in the Paramo ecosystem, have thick trunks, and succulent hairy leaves in a dense spiral pattern. Marcescent leaves help protect the plants from the cold. The flowers are usually yellow, similar to daisies. 

  260. Espeletia sp.  ______  CR
    "Lamb's Ears"

    The butterfly, the Painted Lady, has been observed feeding on nectar at a species of Espeletia in Costa Rica.  


  261. Eupatorium angulare  ______  CR

  262. Eupatorium hebabotryum  ______  CR

  263. Eupatorium hylonomum  ______  CR

  264. Eupatorium morifolium  ______  CR

  265. Eupatorium pittieri  ______  CR  


  266. Isocarpha oppositifolia  ______  CY

    Genus IVA

  267. Iva cheiranthifolia  ______  CY

  268. Iva imbricata  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)


  269. Koanophyllon villosum  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)


  270. Lasianthaea fruticosa  ______  CR


  271. Lepidaploa divaricata  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands) (vulnerable)
    Christmas Blossom 
    (name in CY)


  272. Melanthera aspera  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)  

    Genus MIKANIA

    in Costa Rica, MIKANIA species are host plants for the caterpillars of the butterfly Actinote anteas, the Anteas Actinote. 

  273. Mikania cordifolia  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Mikania cordifolia is a food plant for the butterfly Danaus eresimus, the Soldier. 

    Genus MONTANOA

  274. Montanoa guatemalensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:214)
    Tree Daisy
    S: Tubu


  275. Neomirandea angularis  ______  CR  (TPCR:285)   occurs only in Costa Rica
    S: Tora Hueca


  276. Parthenium hysterophorus  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Parthenium hysterophorus is a food plant for the butterfly Strymon columella, the Hewitson's Hairstreak.  

    Genus PECTIS

  277. Pectis caymanensis  ______  CY
    Pectis caymanensis  (var. caymanensis)  ______ 
    (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands) (critically endangered in CY)
    Pectis caymanensis  (var. robusta)  ______ 
    (endemic to Grand Cayman island) (critically endangered in CY)  
    Tea Banker

  278. Pectis linifolia  ______  CY

    Genus PLUCHEA

  279. Pluchea carolinensis  ______  CY
    Cure-for-all Sourbush

    Other names for Pluchea carolinensis include Cattletongue.   

    As its name implies, the Cure-for-all Sourbush is widely used medically in the Caribbean, for various ailments including cough. 

  280. Pluchea odorata  ______  CY
    Salt Marsh Sourbush

    In North America, a name for Pluchea odorata is Salt Marsh Fleabane.

    Genus SALMEA

  281. Salmea petrobioides  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)

    Genus SENECIO

  282. Senecio arborescens  ______  CR

  283. Senecio cooperi  ______  CR

  284. Senecio haitensis  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Senecio haitensis is a food plant for the butterflies: Anetia pantherata, the Great King, Danaus plexippus, the Monarch.


  285. Sphagneticola trilobata  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:330)   occurs along coasts in the New World Tropics  
    West Indian Creeper 
    (name in CY)
    S; Boton de Oro

    Synonyms for Sphagneticola triobata have been: Complaya trilobata, Thelechitonia trilobata, Wedelia trilobata. 


  286. Spilanthes urens  ______  CY

    Genus TAGETES

    There is a question as to where TAGETES originated. In Central America, there are cities that were ports of long-ago Spanish ships. But it has been claimed that the place of origin was the New World.
    Two points that support this are that species of TAGETES are in Mayan carvings made in the great days of that civilization, that is before A.D. 1000, and that TAGETES were given an Aztec name cempoalxochitl.     

  287. Tagetes remotiflora  (or Tagetes erecta) (ph)  ______  GU

    In the illustration above, the left-hand flower is 
    Taggetes remotiflora, one of the marigolds here.
    From the "Flowers of Guatemala".

  288. Tagetes sororia  (or Tagetes nelsonii ______  GU

    Genus TITHONIA 

  289. Tithonia diversifolia  ______  CR
    Mexican Sunflower,
    or Bolivian Sunflower

    Tithonia diversifolia
    is similar to Tithonia rotundifolia (below). 

  290. Tithonia longiradiata  (ph)  ______  CR  GU
    Tree Sunflower

    Tithonia longiradiata
    is a shrub to treelet with unlobed leaves.

    The sunflower Tithonia longiradiata,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala".

  291. Tithonia rotundifolia  ______  CR  (TPCR:84)   occurs naturally in Mexico and Central America


  292. Verbesina caymanensis  ______  CY  (endemic to the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac) (critically endangered)

  293. Verbesina oerstediana  ______  CR

    Genus VIGUIERA

    VIGUIERA occurs in Mexico, and to the south to South America. Its northernmost distribution is in the southwest US. 

  294. Viguiera dentata  ______  MX(YU)
    Toothleaf Goldeneye 
    (or Sunflower Goldeneye)
    (Mayan name)

    Viguiera dentata
    has a bright yellow flower that can be cover countryside in the Yucatan from December through February.
    Traditional Mayans have used the dry stalks and stems of the plant to make brooms and other household items.
    The flower produces the sweetest honey in the Yucatan area, with a 78.5 sugar content.  It is a dark gold in color. 
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)

    Genus ZINNIA

  295. Zinnia elegans  (ph)  ______  DR  GU

    In the Dominican Republic, Zinnia elegans is a food plant for the butterfly Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail. 
    It is also especially favored by the butterfly Papilio androgeus, the Androgeus Swallowtail. 

    Zinnia elegans,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family ATHYRIACEAE  (Lady-Ferns)


  296. Hymenophyllum sp.  ______  DR



  297. Langsdorffia hypogaea  ______  CR  (TPCR:286)   occurs from Mexico to parts of South America

    Family BALSAMINACEAE  (Touch-me-not)


    There are more than 800 species of IMPATIENS worldwide, and there are many hybrids.

    Plants in IMPATIENS can be attractive to feeding hummingbirds.

  298. Impatiens turrialbana  (*)  ______  CR

    Impatiens turrialbana
    is a native species in Costa Rica, where it occurs from about 3,900 to 7,500 feet above sea level on slopes in Tapanti, of Turrialba and Irazu volcanoes, and in parts of the Talamanca mountains.
    It is with red-orange flowers. 

  299. Impatiens walleriana  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:122,123)   originally from mountains in eastern Africa
    S: Chinas

    In Costa Rica, Impatiens walleriana is very common along roadsides and streamsides in lowlands and up to 4,800 feet above sea level.  

    Family BASELLACEAE  (some herbaceous plants)

    Genus ANREDERA

  300. Anredera vesicaria  ______  CY

    Family BATACEAE  (Pickleweed)

    A family with only 2 species, 1 in the Americas, 1 in Australia.

    Genus BATIS

  301. Batis maritima  (*)  ______  CY  DR
    (or Saltwort, Beachwort)   

    In the Cayman Islands, and the Dominican Republic, Batis maritima is a food plant for the butterfly Brephidium exilis, the Western Pygmy Blue.  
    During FONT tours on Little Cayman Island, and in the area of the dunes at Bani in the Dominican Republic, we've seen good numbers of this tiny butterfly at this plant by the sea. 

    Family BETULACEAE  (Alders)

    Genus ALNUS

  302. Alnus acuminata  ______  CR  (TPCR:215)
    S: Jaul 

    Alnus acuminata
    is the only species in BETULACEAE in Costa Rica.


    Genus BEGONIA

  303. Begonia involucrata  ______  CR  (TPCR:287)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama
    Angel-wing Begonia
    S: Begonia

    Family BIGNONIACEAE  (Trumpet Creepers, Bignonias) 

    Genus CATALPA

  304. Catalpa longissima  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY) 


  305. Crescentia alata  ______  CR  (TPCR:260)  occurs from Mexico to northwest Costa Rica (Guanacaste)
    Gourd Tree
    S: Jicaro,
    or Guacal, or Jicarillo (in Costa Rica)

    Other names for Crescentia alata are Mexican Calabash and Winged Calabash.

    The bark of Crescentia alata is a good substrate for orchids and other epiphytes.
    Peeled and dried seeds are used for a version of the rice-based drink known as horchata.

  306. Crescentia cujete  (ph)  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:260)  (originally grew on Caribbean islands)
    Calabash Tree 
    (with simple, alternating leaves) 
    S: Calabasa, or Cujete, or Higuero, or Taparo, or Jicaro (in Costa Rica) 

    The Calabash is the national tree of Saint Lucia. 

    The fruit of the Calabash tree
    (photo courtesy of Michiel Koomen)


  307. Enallagma latifolia  ______  CR

    Genus GODMANIA

  308. Godmania aesculifolia  ______  CR


  309. Jacaranda copaia  ______  CR

  310. Jacaranda ekmanii  ______  DR
    Ekman's Jacaranda
    S: Jacaranda de Ekman

  311. Jacaranda mimosifolia  ______  CR  (TPCR:20)  (originally grew in southern Brazil and northern Argentina)
    (a tree with leaves pinnately divided) 
    S: Guarupa

    Jacaranda trees, profusely in bloom with their light violet flowers, have been seen during FONT tours in the city parks of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October and November. 

    The flowers of the Jacaranda tree can be especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds. 


  312. Macfadyena unguis-cati  ______  CR
    Cat-claw Bignone
    S: Una de Gato

    Macfadyena unguis-cati is a "big bang" flowerer, blooming near the end of the dry season. Many plants bloom at the same time, and the flowering period lasts a few days.
    The brilliant orange-yellow tubular-campanulate flowers are bee pollinated. 


  313. Parmentiera aculeata  ______  MX(YU)  (native to Central America)
    Food Candle Tree 
    (or Tree Cucumber)
    S: Cuajilote

    In the Yucatan of Mexico, another name for Parmentiera aculeata is Pepino Kat. ("Kat" is a Mayan name)

  314. Parmentiera valerii  ______  CR 


  315. Pithcoctenium crucigerum  ______  CR  (TPCR:261)  occurs from Mexico to Argentina
    Monkey Comb
    S: Bateita  


  316. Pyrostegia venusta  (*)  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:123,124)   originally in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and northeast Argentina 
    Flame Vine 
    (or "Orange Creeper"(a climbing plant with leaves pinnately divided or tripartite)
    P: Cipo de Sao Joao
    S: Chiltote,
    or Chorro de Oro, or Triquitraque


  317. Spathodea campanulata  (ph)  ______  CR  DR  JM  (TPCR:21)  (native to tropical Africa)
    African Tulip Tree 
    (tree with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Tulipan Africano,
    or Caoba de Santo Domingo, or Arbol de Fuente

    Even though the African Tulip Tree is an introduced species in Jamaica, an endemic hummingbird on that island, the Jamaican Mango, Anthracothorax mango, uses it as a food source. 

    African Tulip Trees photographed during a FONT tour in the Dominican Republic
    in the Caribbean 
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 

  318. Spathodea nilotica  ______  BR
    P: Espatodea 

    Spathodea nilotica
    is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds. 

    Genus TABEBUIA

    The TABEBUIA trees noted below can be, when in bloom, especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.  

  319. Tabebuia aurea  ______  BR  (in the wild in Brazil and northern Argentina)

  320. Tabebuia avellanedae  ______  BR

  321. Tabebuia berterii  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, widespread there)
    S: Aceituno

    Tabebuia berterii
    occurs in rainforest, semi-humid, and dry forest.

  322. Tabebuia chrysantha  (*)  ______  BR  CR
    Gold Tree 
    (or Yellow Ipe (tree, as are others in Tabebuia, with leaves palmately divided)
    P: Ype Amarelo
    S: Amapa Prieta,
    or Araguanyey, or Cortez Amarillo, or Guayacan

    In Costa Rica, Tabebuia chrysantha is in wet forest. Other Tabebuia species in Costa Rica are below: Tabebuia guayacan and Tabebuia ochracea.  

    "Ipe", or "Ype" Trees, have been seen and enjoyed during many FONT tours in the Neotropics, as they are favored for food by many birds, and, at times, by monkeys.
    During the dry season, they, and Pink Trumpet Trees
    (below), are ablaze with color in the Pantanal in southern Brazil. 
    A particular hotel where we've often stayed in southeastern Brazil is called "Hotel do Ype"    

  323. Tabebuia chrysotricha  ______  BR

  324. Tabebuia donnell-smithii  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Palo Blanco

    Tabebuia donnell-smithii
    has brilliant, clear yellow flowers. Its blooming period, when the blossoms are at their glory, is during the latter part of the dry season.  
    The tree is sometimes called Palo Blanco because of its white bark, which enhances its attractiveness. 
    In Guatemala, it is common in low and middle altitudes.   


    Tabebuia donnell-smithii,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  325. Tabebuia guayacan  ______  CR

    In Costa Rica, Tabebuia guayacan is in moist forest.

  326. Tabebuia haemantha  ______ 
    S: Roble Cimarron

    Roble Cimarron
    is a preferred feeding plant for nectar for the hummingbird, the Antillean Mango, Anthracothorax dominicus, on the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.    

  327. Tabebuia heptaphylla  ______  BR  

  328. Tabebuia heterophylla  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    (name in CY)

  329. Tabebuia impetiginosa  (*)  ______  BR  CR

    Tabebuia impetiginosa
    are large trees that lose their leaves in the dry season, but late in the dry season, the tree suddenly produces an overwhelming mass of maroon flowers for about a week. 
    An individual tree can sometimes have two or three such mass-flowering episodes.
    Some other species of Tabebuia trees have bright yellow flowers, such as Tabebuia chrysantha (above).
    The strategy of massive flowering during just a few days is to attract pollinating insects, many of them bees.    
    Regarding the wood of Tabebuia trees, it is some of the heaviest and hardest in the American tropics. It is so heavy it does not float on top of water.    

  330. Tabebuia jaragua  ______  DR
    S: Roblillo

  331. Tabebuia ochracea  ______  BR 
    Tabebuia ochracea neochrysantha  ______  CR  (TPCR:255,262,263) 
    occurs in Central America and South America
    S: Guayacan,
    or Corteza Amarilla. or Cortez Amarillo 

    In Costa Rica, Tabebuia ochracea is in dry forest. Like the others in Costa Rica in its genus, Tabebuia ochracea is a "big bang" mass flowerer in which all of the flowers start to bloom the same day, and the flowering lasts only about 4 days.
    They bloom in the dry season, and when doing so they are an unbelievable mass of color.
    The trees are pollinated by a variety of bees, and the nectar of the flowers is fed upon by hummingbirds.    

  332. Tabebuia pentaphylla  ______  GU
    S: Macuelizo

    Tabebuia pentaphylla
    is a beautiful tree, that forms an umbrella of color above a long, straight trunk, reaching high above its neighbors for sun. Like Tabebuia donnell-smithii (above), the glorious blooming period of Tabebuia pentaphylla is during the latter part of the dry season. Its flowers range from a lovely pink to rose.
    Tabebuia pentaphylla is the national flower of El Salvador, where it is called Macuelizo.    

  333. Tabebuia rosea  (*)  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:22)  (in the wild in South America in areas with alternating humidity)
    Pink Trumpet Tree 
    (with leaves palmately divided)
    S: Amapa Rosa, or Apamate, or Macuelizo

  334. Tabebuia vellosoi  ______  BR

    Genus TECOMA

  335. Tecoma stans  (ph)  ______  CR  GU  (TPCR:23)   (native from the southern US to northern Argentina) 
    Yellow Trumpet Flower  (or Yellow Elder)  (bush with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Trompetilla,
    or Tronodora or Fresnillo, or Floria, or Roble Amarillo, or Sauco Amarillo

    The Yellow Trumpet Flower is among the most popular of ornamental plants from the tropics, and so it has many names.

    Tecoma stans, the Yellow Trumpet Flower,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"


    TECOMARIA species are especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds, in Brazil.

    Family BIXACEAE  (Achiote, or Annatto Plants)


    Genus AMOREUXIA 

  336. Amoreuxia palmatifida  (ph)  ______  GU

    Amoreuxia palmatifida,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Genus BIXA

  337. Bixa orellana  ______  CR  GU  MX(YU)  (native to the tropics of the Western Hemisphere)
    Annatto Tree 
    (bush with simple, alternating leaves)
    P: Acafroa
    S: Achiote,
    or Annatto

    The fleshy seed coat of the Annatto produces a bright red color that is used in lipsticks, soap, and foods such as cheese and margarine. 
    Native Americans used it to color their hair and paint their skin.


  338. Cochlospermum vitifolium  (*)  ______  CR  GU  (native from Mexico to Peru and Brazil)
    Silk Tree 
    (or Cotton Tree (tree with leaves palmately divided)

    S: Bototo,
    or Carnestolenda, or Poro Poro

    Other English names for Cochlospermum vitifolium are Buttercup Tree and Yellow Rose Tree.


    Genus BLECHNUM

  339. Blechnum auratum  ______  CR  (TPCR:317)
    Tree Blechnum 

    Family BORAGINACEAE  (Borages)

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, there are over 50 described species in BORAGINACEAE.

    Genus ARGUSIA

  340. Argusia gnaphalodes  ______  CY
    (name in CY)


  341. Bourreria costaricensis  ______  CR

  342. Bourreria quirosii  ______  CR

  343. Bourreria huanita  ______  GU

  344. Bourreria succulenta  (ph)  ______  (in the Bahamas, Cuba, and on other Caribbean islands)
    Bahama Strongbark,
    or Bodywood  

    Above and below: the Bahama Strongbark
    Above: the flowers.  Below: the fruit.
    (photos courtesy of Michiel Koomen) 

  345. Bourreria venosa  ______  CY
    Parrot Berry 
    (name in CY)

    Genus CORDIA

    In the Dominican Republic, CORDIA species are food plants for the butterfly Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail. 

  346. Cordia alba  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Zazamil

    Cordia alba,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  347. Cordia alliodora  ______  CR  (TPCR:218)

  348. Cordia bicolor  ______  CR

  349. Cordia brownei  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to CY)

  350. Cordia collococca  ______  CR

  351. Cordia cymosa  ______  CR

  352. Cordia dodecandra  ______  BZ  MX(YU)
    (name in BZ)
    S: Ciricote,
    or Siricote, or Ziricote

    The Ciricote is one of the most valuable and used trees in the areas of the Yucatan in Mexico, and in Belize and Guatemala. In Belize, as noted above, it is called Zericote.
    Native to the places just mentioned, the tree was significant to the ancient Mayans, and it continues to be so today.
    All parts of it have been and are valued. Now, unfortunately, in nature, the tree is considered a vulnerable species..

    The Ciricote is a robust tree, with large rounded leaves, which fall when the tree produces beautiful bright orange flowers prior to fruiting.
    The fruit is the size of small guava. It is green when young and yellow when mature. Most of the harvesting of the fruit is in April and May, but when consumed green it is harvested sooner.

    The fruit of the Ciricote is somewhat insipid when raw, so the greatest consumption of it is as a preserve in dark syrup.
    That popular dish is called "Dulce de Ciricote".

    The stiff Ciricote leaves are surprisingly rough, like a fine sandpiper. So they have been long used for washing pots and to clean and smoothen gourd utensils.

    But it is perhaps the wood that is the most coveted part of the Ciricote tree. It is extremely hard, with beautifully contrasting dark and light grain.
    Its durability has made it a favored material for flooring and a top choice for furniture.
    It is also prized for its acoustic qualities and its beauty, and thus it is for the making of guitars.
    Ciricote trees are frequently used as ornamental plants in parks and gardens.

    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)           

  353. Cordia dwyeri  ______  CR

  354. Cordia ecalyculata  ______  BR
    P: Cha-de-Bugre
    or Claraiba

    Birds that feed on the fruits of Cordia ecalyculata include: guans, trogons, pigeons, tanagers, aracaris, and others.

  355. Cordia gerascanthus  ______  CR  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Spanish Elm 
     (name in CY)

  356. Cordia glabrata  ______  BR

    The Louro is a tall tree, with a tall slender trunk that is grayish-white. It has white flowers that are very fragrant, and are visited by moths in the early morning, and by butterflies, bees, and beetles during the day.
    Because Cordia glabrata is fast-growing, it is suggested as an ideal native species for reforestation.        

  357. Cordia globosa humilis  ______  CY  DR  (vulnerable in CY)
    Black Sage 
    (name in CY)

    In the Dominican Republic, Cordia globosa is a food plant for the butterfly Papilio aristor, the Scarce Haitian Swallowtail.

  358. Cordia haitiensis  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Cordia haitensis is a food plant for the butterflies: Papilio aristor, the Scarce Haitian Swallowtail, Papilio machaonides, the Machaonides Swallowtail, Papilio androgeus, the Androgeus Swallowtail, Junonia genoveva, the Mangrove Buckeye. 

  359. Cordia laevigata  ______  CY  (endemic to Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) (critically endangered in CY)
    Clam Cherry 
    (name in CY)

  360. Cordia lucidula  ______  CR

  361. Cordia nitida  ______  CR

  362. Cordia panamensis  ______  CR

  363. Cordia rickseckeri  ______  DR  PR
    S: San Bartolome

    The San Bartolome is a preferred feeding plant for nectar for the hummingbird, the Antillean Mango, Anthracothorax dominicus, on the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

  364. Cordia sebestena  ______  JM  (originally grew on Caribbean islands and in Venezuela)
    Cordia sebestena  (var. caymanensis)  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)
    Scarlet Cordia  
    (tree with simple, alternating leaves)
    Broad Leaf 
    (name in CY)
    S: Vomitel,
    or No-me-olvide

    On Jamaica, the Scarlet Cordia is a food source for the Jamaican Mango, Anthracothorax mango, a hummingbird endemic to that island. The male hummingbirds defend their feeding territories vigorously.  

  365. Cordia sellowiuana  ______  BR
    P: Jurute

    Birds that feed on the fruits of Cordia sellowiuana include: guans, trogons, pigeons, tanagers, aracaris, and others.  

    Genus EHRETIA

  366. Ephreta austin-smithii  ______  CR

  367. Ehretia tinifolia  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)


  368. Heliotropium curassavicum  ______  CY  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Heliotropium curassavicum is a food plant for the butterfly Strymon columella, the Hewitson's Hairstreak.

  369. Heliotropium humifusum  ______  CY

  370. Heliotropium ternatum  ______  CY


  371. Tournefortia astrotricha  ______  CY

  372. Tournefortia glabra  ______  CR

  373. Tournefortia hirsutissima  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Tournefortia hirsutissima is a food plant for the butterflies: Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail, Strymon istapa, the Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Hamadryas amplichloe, the Pale Cracker, Junonia genoveva, the Mangrove Buckeye, Anetia pantherata, the Great King, Danaus cleophile, the Caribbean Queen or Jamaican Monarch. 

  374. Tournefortia minuta  ______  CY

  375. Tournefortia ramonensis  ______  CR

  376. Tournefortia volubilis  ______  CY
    Aunt Eliza Bush 
    (name in CY) 

    Genus WIGANDIA  

    Was in the WATERLEAF family, formerly HYDROPHYLLACAE, now a subfamily of BORAGINACEAE.

  377. Wigandia kunthii  (ph)  ______  GU

    Wigandia kunthii,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family BRASSICACEAE  (Mustards)  - formerly CRUCIFERAE

    Genus CAKILE

  378. Cakile lanceolata  ______  CY 

    Family BROMELIACEAE  (Bromeliads)

    BROMELIACEAE contains about 2,000 species that range from tropical to warm-temperate regions of the New World.

    Plants in BROMELIACEAE are favored food, in Central America, for the hummingbird, the Violet Sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus.   

    Genus AECHMEA

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, plants in AECHMEA are fed upon for nectar by the hummingbird known as the Hispaniolan Emerald, Chlorostilbon swainsonii, a bird endemic to that island. 

  379. Aechmea fasciata  ______  (native to Brazil)
    Silver Vase 
    P: Aequimeia

  380. Aechmea patriciae  (ph)  ______  (endemic to Ecuador)

    The natural habitat in Ecuador for Aechmea patriciae is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest.

    As info, there is a cultivar with a similar name, Aechmea patricia, that was developed in southern Florida.

    Aechmea patriciae    (photo by Marie Gardner) 

    Genus ANANAS

  381. Ananas comosus  (*)  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (native to the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    P: Abacaxi
    S: Pina

    The Pineapple got its English name from the resemblance it has to the pine cone in the temperate regions.
    The plant was native to Central America and the West Indies. Columbus found it there when he arrived in 1492.
    Since then, it has become cultivated in much of the world, in the tropics, and it now a popular fruit many places.

    Because of the structure and arrangement of its leaves, the Pineapple plant can make maximum use of rain water, and so it is capable of living in dry conditions.
    The flowers of the plant arise deep in the center of the leaves where they bloom for only a brief period.
    About 10 months later, the fruit of the pineapple has grown and ripened and is ready for picking.

    Pineapple is used widely as a breakfast dish, a dessert, and in fruit salads. It also is used as accompaniment with meat dishes such as ham, gammon, and pork (all names for pretty much the same thing).
    Also Pineapple is often, in the tropics, a flavor in a juice, and it is used to make a delicious "squash drink".          

    Genus BROMELIA

  382. Bromelia karatas  ______  CR

    Spanish names, interchangeably, for Bromelia karatas and Bromelia pinguin are Chiras, or Pinuelas. 

  383. Bromelia pinguin  ______  CR  MX(YU) 
    Wild Pineapple
    S: Pinuela, or Pinuelilla, or Malla

    Both Bromelia pinguin and Bromelia plumieri (below) are native to the seasonally dry areas of Costa Rica.
  384. Bromelia plumieri  ______  CR

    Genus GUZMANIA

    The bromeliads in GUZMANIA are favored foods for the hummingbird, the Straight-billed Hermit.  


  385. Hohenbergia caymanensis  ______  CY  (endemic to the Cayman Islands) (critically endangered)
    Old George 
    (name in CY) 

  386. Hohenbergia portoricensis  ______  PR
    Puerto Rican Lacebark

    Hohenbergia portoricensis
    is a food source in Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rican Emerald, Chlorostilbon maugaeus, a hummingbird that is endemic to that island.


  387. Pitcairnia bromeliifolia  (*)  ______  DR  PR

    Pitcairnia bromeliifolia
    is a red-flowered bromeliad that is a food source in Puerto Rico for the hummingbird, the Green Mango, Anthracothorax viridis, that is endemic to that island. 
    Also in Puerto Rico, and on Hispaniola, it is a preferred food source for nectar for the Antillean Mango, Anthracothorax dominicus.   

  388. Pitcairnia elizabethae  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Pitcairnia elizabethae is a food plant for the butterfly Danaus plexippus, the Monarch. 

    Genus PUYA: 
    contains 8 species, native to mountains in southern Central America and the Andes Mountains in South America.  

  389. Puya dasylirioides  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:318,319)    endemic to Costa Rica, from 7,500 to 10,200 feet above sea level

  390. Puya raimondii  ______  

    Puya raimondii is notable in that it is the largest known species of bromeliad. It can attain a height of 9 feet in vegetative growth with a flower spike from 27 to 30 feet tall.   


  391. Tillandsia balbisiana  ______  CY

  392. Tillandsia bulbosa  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)

  393. Tillandsia caput-medusae  ______  CR

  394. Tillandsia circinnata  ______  CR

  395. Tillandsia fasciculata  (var. clavispica)  ______  CY

  396. Tillandsia festucoides  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)

  397. Tillandsia flexuosa  ______  CY

  398. Tillandsia paucifolia  ______  CY  (endemic to Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)

  399. Tillandsia pruinosa  ______  CR

  400. Tillandsia recurvata  ______  CY
    Old Man's Beard 
    (name in CY)

  401. Tillandsia rodrigueziana  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Pata de Gallo

    Tillandsia rodrigueziana,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  402. Tillandsia setacea  ______  CY    

  403. Tillandsia usneoides  ______  (occurs from the southern US to northern Argentina)
    Spanish Moss 
    (an epiphyte)
    P: Barba de Pau,
    or Barba de Velho
    S: Barba de Viejo,
    or Musgo Blanco

    Another name for Tillandsia usneoides is Louisiana Moss.

  404. Tillandsia utriculata  ______  CY  (endemic to West Indies)

    Genus VRIESEA  (
    or WERAUBIA)

    The bromeliads in VRIESEA are favored foods for the Straight-billed Hermit, Phaethornis bourcieri, a hummingbird in northern South America.

  405. Vriesea gladioliflora  ______  CR

  406. Vriesea kupperiana  ______  CR

  407. Vriesea ororiensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:308)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama

    Vriesea ororiensis
    is now said to be in the genus WERAUBIA. 

  408. Vriesea sintenisii  ______  PR

    Vriesea sintenisii
    is a food source in Puerto Rico for the hummingbird, the Puerto Rican Emerald, Chlorostilbon maugeus, that is endemic to that island.

  409. Vriesea zamorensis  (*) (ph)  ______  EC

    Vriesea zamorensis, photographed during the FONT April 2014 Tour
    in southern Ecuador at Copalinga  
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 



  410. Brunellia costaricensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:319)   endemic to Costa Rica, from 4,500 to 8,700 feet above sea level
    S: Cedrillo  

  411. Brunellia standleyana  ______  CR  in Costa Rica from 2,550 to 5,700 feet above sea level

    Family BURSERACEAE  (Torchwoods, or Incense Trees)

    Genus BURSERA

  412. Busera simaruba  (*)  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:219,220)
    (or Copperwood)
    Red Birch
      (name in CY)
    S: Indio Desnudo,
    or Jinocuave

    Busera simaruba
    is comically referred to as the "tourist tree" because the tree's bark is red and peeling like the skin of sunburnt tourists.

    Family BUXACEAE  (Box family)

    Genus BUXUS

  413. Buxus bahamensis  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)

    Family CACTACEAE  (Cacti)

    With about 140 genera and 2,000 species, nearly all found in warm arid parts of the Americas.

    Genus CONSOLEA

  414. Consolea millspaughii  (var. caymanensis)  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)


  415. Epiphyllum phyllanthus  (var. plattsii)  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)

    Genus HARRISIA

  416. Harrisia gracilis  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  417. Harrisia nashii  (*) (ph)  ______  DR  (in Dominican Republic, by Lake Enriquillo and in the lower Sierra de Bahoruco)
    S: Flor de la Pitahaya 
    (referring to the flower)

    The cactus, Harrisia nashii, photographed during a FONT tour in the Dominican Republic,
    by Lake Enriquillo, at about 200 feet below sea level.
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 


  418. Hylocereus costaricensis  ______  CR
    Wild Pitahaya
    S: Pitahaya Silvestre 

  419. Hylocereus undatus  ______  MX(YU)
    (or Strawberry Pear)
    S: Pitahaya, or Pitaya


  420. Melocactus pedernalensis  (*)  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in area of Pedernales)
    S: Melon Espinoso


  421. Neoabbottia paniculada  (*)  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in xeric forest by Lake Enriquillo)
    S: Caguey, or Elcacto

    Genus NOPALEA

  422. Nopalea cochenillifera  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:125)   thought to have originated in southern Mexico
    S: Tuna

  423. Nopalea guatemalensis  (*)  ______  CR  GU   native in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica

  424. Nopalea lutea  ______  CR   native in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica  


  425. Opuntia caribaea  (*)  ______  DR   in the Dominican Republic, by Lago Enriquillo
    S: Guasabara

  426. Opuntia cochenillifera  ______  JM
    Cochincal Prickly Pear

    The flowers of the Cochincal Prickly Pear are fed on extensively by the Jamaican Mango, Anthracothorax mango, a hummingbird endemic to Jamaica. 

  427. Opuntia dillenii  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)     

    Genus PERESKIA

  428. Pereskia grandifolia  ______  (originally grew in Brazil)
    Rose Cactus 
    (bush with simple, alternating leaves)

  429. Pereskia quisqueyana  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, only in and near the beach town of Bayahibe)  
    S: Flor de Bayahibe,
    or Rosa de Bayahibe

    In the Dominican Republic, Bayahibe is by the "National Park of the East".


  430. Pilosocereus swartzii  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    (name in CY)


    A small genus of cacti with 6 species found in the coastal mountains of southeastern Brazil. 

  431. Schlumbergra truncata  ______  BR
    P: Flor-de-Maio

    When in flower, Schlumbergra truncata can be attractive to feeding hummingbirds.


  432. Selenicereus boeckmannii  ______  CY  (endemic to Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) 
    Vine Pear 
    (name in CY)

  433. Selenicereus grandiflorus  ______  CY
    Vine Pear 
    (name in CY) 


    Previously in the CLUSIACEAE, or GUTTIFERAE Family.

    Genus MAMMEA

  434. Mammea americana  ______  (originally grew on Caribbean islands)
    Mammee Apple 
    (or Santo Domingo Apple)

    Mammea americana
    is sometimes confused with the unrelated but similar-looking Mamey Sapote Tree (Pauteria sapota) whose fruit is also called Mammee, or Mamey.


    Genus CANELLA

  435. Canella winterana  ______  CY  MX(YU)  (critically endangered in CY)
    White Cinnamon 
    Pepper Cinnamon 
    (name in CY)

    Canella winterana
    is a native species throughout the Caribbean and on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. 
    It has a similar fragrance and and flavor to Cinnamomum verum in the LAURACEAE family.
    Although historical reports suggest that the leaves, bark, and berries of Canella winterana were regularly used as food and drink - especially since it was plentiful and inexpensive. 
    Today, however, Cinnamomum verum, the Ceylon Cinnamon, is the preferred spice in the cuisine of the Yucatan.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)        

    Family CAMPANULACEAE  (Bellflowers)


    Plants in CENTROPOGON, with their deep flowers, are favored for food by the White-tipped Sicklebill, the  hummingbird with the most strongly curved bill. 

    Hummingbird Flower Mites (Rhinoseius colwelli), that ride from plant to plant in the nostrils of hummingbirds, are often found in centropogons. 

  436. Centropogon granulosus  ______  CR  (TPCR:290)

    In Costa Rica, Centropogon granulosus occurs on the Caribbean side of the country. It is larger than Centropogon solanifolius (below).   

  437. Centropogon solanifolius  ______  CR  (TPCR:290)   occurs from Costa Rica to Peru
    S: Gallito

  438. Centropogon talamancansis  ______  CR  (TPCR:320)   endemic to Costa Rica, from 8,400 to over 9,000 feet above sea level

    The flowers of
    Centropogon talamancansis are pollinated by the Magnificent Hummingbird, Eugenes fulgens.
    But the shorter-billed Fiery-throated Hummingbird,
    Panterpe insignis, may be seen talking nectar from holes made by the Slaty Flower-piercer, Diglossa plumbea.
    In the flowers, there are hummingbird mites. 

    Fiery-throated Hummingbird


  439. Hippobroma longiflora  ______  CR  (TPCR:85)  
    Little Milk-star
    S: Jazmin de la Estrella

    Hippobroma longiflora has recently been said to have originated in the West Indies. It is now naturalized in the neotropics from Mexico to Peru and Brazil.

    Hippobroma longiflora is the only member of its genus.  

    Genus LOBELIA

  440. Lobelia laxiflora  (*) (ph)  ______  CR  GU  (TPCR:86)   occurs from southern Arizona in the US south to Colombia
    S: Arctitos,
    or Caragallo

    In Costa Rica, Lobelia laxiflora occurs from 3,000 to 7,800 feet above sea level. It is common in the Central, Talamanca, and Tilaran ranges, often in disturbed areas such as roadsides, embankments, and old pastures.   

    Lobelia laxiflora,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family CANNACEAE  (Canna)

    now includes ULMACEAE  (CELTIS, TREMA, and ULMUS) 


  441. Ampelocera hottlei  ______  CR 

    Genus CANNA

  442. Canna edulis  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Platanillo,
    or Cucuyu

    Flowers of Canna edulis, in Guatemala, are much smaller than those of the magnificent horticultural cannas that are grown in gardens of North America.
    From the wild cannas of tropical America, of which there are several species, magnificent many-colored forms have been developed that are now popular in gardens throughout the world.   

    In Guatemala, an interesting thing about Canna edulis is that it is commonly seen in the dooryards of the Indian's homes, where in all likelihood it has been cultivated since pre-Columbian times.
    While probably native to the warmer lower country of Guatemala, it is often seen in the gardens of Antigua, at five thousand feet or higher above sea level. 

    The roots of Canna edulis are known in Spanish as achira. They are eaten in parts of South America.

    Most cannas are called platanillo in Central America, but in Guatemala the large-flowered cultivated forms are usually known as cucuyus.         

    Canna edulis,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala" 

  443. Canna glauca  ______  CR   grows in Costa Rica in Guanacaste

  444. Canna indica  ______  CR  GU   native to the Western Hemisphere, not originally in India 
    Indian Shot  
    (an herbaceous plant)
    S: Bandera Espanola, or Platanillo, or Yuquilla 

    Canna indica
    is cultivated in Costa Rica, and sometimes escapes.

  445. Canna tridiflora  ______  CR   native to Peru, cultivated in Costa Rica

  446. Canna tuerckheimii  ______  CR  native to Costa Rica

    Genus CELTIS:  Hackberries

  447. Celtis iguanaea  ______  CR  CY  (endangered in CY)

    Celtis iguanaea
    is a host plant for the caterpillar of the butterfly Doxocopa laure, the Silver Emperor. 

  448. Celtis schippii  ______  CR

  449. Celtis trinervia  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) (critically endangered in CY)

    Genus TREMA

  450. Trema lamarckianum  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies) (vulnerable in CY)

  451. Trema micrantha  ______  CR  (TPCR:71)
    S: Juco,
    or Capulin

    Genus ULMUS

  452. Ulmus mexicana  ______  CR
    Mexican Elm

    Family CAPPARACEAE  (Capers)

    Genus CAPPARIS

  453. Capparis cynophallophora  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Jamaican Caper 
    (or Headache Bush,
    name in CY)

  454. Capparis ferruginea  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)
    Devil Head 
    (name in CY)

  455. Capparis flexuosa  ______  CY  
    Raw Bones 
    (name in CY)

    Genus CLEOME

  456. Cleome procumbens  ______  CY
    Cat's Whiskers
      (name in CY)

    Family CARICACEAE  (Papaya Plants)

    Genus CARICA

  457. Carica papaya  (*) (ph)  ______  BR  BZ  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:171)   native to the tropical Western Hemisphere, including Caribbean islands
    (or Pawpaw)  (a giant-rosette plant)
    P: Mamao
    S: Lechosa,
    or Papaya

    Although said to be a tree, the stem of the Papaya (or Pawpaw) is largely hollow and the plant lacks the wood characteristic of normal trees.
    The stem is unbranched with a crown of large, palmate leaves springing from the top. There are separate male, female, and hermaphrodite plants, but only the females and hermaphrodites bear fruit.
    The fruits vary in size, with some attaining a weight of ten pounds or more.
    The flesh is yellowish-orange when ripe, with small dark seeds scattered in it.
    Papaya is often eaten as a breakfast dish with, at times, some lime squeezed over it.
    Both the fruit and the leaves contain papain, a protein-digesting enzyme. That enzyme can be extracted and used as a meat tenderizer.   

    Outside in nature, birds that feed on Papaya include: toucans, thrushes, an assortment of tanagers, euphonias, woodpeckers, and others. 

    Papaya, photographed during a FONT tour in Belize
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 


  458. Carpotroche brasiliensis  ______  BR
    P: Sapucainha

    that feed on Carpotroche brasilienis include various parakeets.  


  459. Jacaratia dolichaula  ______  CR  MX(YU)
    Wild Papaya
    S: Papaya Silvestre,
    or Papaya de Venado, or Papaya de Montana, or Bonete, or Cuaguayote 

    Bonete, as Jacaratia dolichaula is called in the Yucatan region of Mexico, is a relative of the well-known Papaya, Carica papaya (above).
    Bonete, or Wild Papaya is an odd-looking fruit, from 5 to 7 inches tall and 1 and a half to 2 and a half inches wide, characterized by five vertical ribs or fins hat flare out top to bottom.

    The plant is native to southeastern Mexico and Central America. It is rarely cultivated, rather the fruits are harvested from the wild in season, which is April and May. 
    The plant Jacaratia dolichaula is said to be threatened.

    The fruit is only rarely found in markets. It is consumed as a hand fruit and has a taste similar to Papaya.

    The word "Bonete" is from the ducal hat worn by nobles and those in the high orders of the Catholic Church.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)    


    Genus CARYOCAR

  460. Caryocar costaricense  ______  CR
    S: Ajillo, or Ajo, or Aji

  461. Caryocar nuciferum  ______  CR  

    Family CELASTRACEAE  (Bittersweet, or Staff-vine)


  462. Crossopetalum caymanense  ______  CY  (endemic to Cayman Islands)  

  463. Crossopetalum rhacoma  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)
    Snake Berry


  464. Elaeodendron xylocarpum  (var. attenuatum)  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    Wild Calabash

    Genus GYMINDA

  465. Gyminda latifolia  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies) (critically endangered in CY)

    Genus MAYTENUS

  466. Maytenus buxifolia  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)


  467. Schaeffria frutescens  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)

    Family CHENOPODIACEAE  (Goosefoots)

    Genus ATRIPLEX

  468. Atriplex pentandra  ______  CY


  469. Salicornia bigelovii  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  470. Salicornia virginica  ______  CY



  471. Chrysobalanus icaco  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY) 


    Genus CLETHRA

  472. Clethra lanata  ______  CR
    S: Nance  

    Family CLUSIACEAE  (Balsam, Clusias)

    There are about 28 species of CLUSIA in Costa Rica.  

    Genus CLUSIA

  473. Clusia flava  ______  CY
    (name in CY)  

  474. Clusia major  ______  (originally grew in Central America and northern South America, and Caribbean islands)
    Autograph Tree 
    (with simple, opposite leaves)
    S: Copey, or Tampaco

  475. Clusia rosea  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    (name in CY)

  476. Clusia stenophylla  ______  CR  (TPCR:291)

    disperse the seeds of Clusia stenophylla. Moths pollinate its flowers at night. Hummingbirds and various insects visit during the day.  



  477. Cochlospermum vitifolium  ______  CR  (TPCR:24,25)   occurs from Mexico to northern South America
    Buttercup Tree
    S: Poroporo

    Cochlospermum vitifolium
    is the only species in the COCHLOSPERMACEAE family in Costa Roca, where it is at low elevations (below 3,000 feet) on the Pacific side in second growth.

    Family COMBRETACEAE  (Bush-willows, Combretums, Almond)

    includes a Bush-mangrove, in the genus CONOCARPUS, 
    and the White Mangrove, in the genus LAGUNCULARIA 


  478. Combretum grandiflorum  ______  BR

    Combretum grandiflorum
    is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds. 


  479. Conocarpus erectus  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:342)  occurs from Mexico to South America, and in the West Indies  (vulnerable in CY)
    Buttonwood Mangrove 
    (or Gray Mangrove)
    S: Mangle Botoncillo,
    or Mangle Torcido, or Mangle Negro

    Conocarpus erectus
    is often referred to as a "mangrove-associate" because it grows in less-inundated areas than typical mangroves.


  480. Laguncularia racemosa  ______  CR  CY  (vulnerable in CY)
    White Mangrove

    In the Dominican Republic, the White Mangrove is a food plant for the butterfly Eunica monima, the Dingy Purplewing.


  481. Terminalia catappa  (ph)  ______  CR  (TPCR:331)  (the common name below, with Barbados, notwithstanding, originally grew along the coast in southern Asia)
    Tropical Almond 
    (a tree with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Alconorque,
    or Almendron, or Almendra de India 

    Other names for Terminalia catappa are Barbados Almond and Sea Almond. 

    Tropical Almond leaves. They turn red before they drop.
    (photo courtesy of Michiel Koomen)

  482. Teminalia eriostachya  (var. margarretiae)  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    Black Mastic

  483. Terminalia oblonga  ______  CR  (TPCR:238)
    S: Sura, Quiura, Guayabo de Monte

    Family COMMELINACEAE  (Dayflowers, or Spiderworts)

    Genus CALLISIA

  484. Callisia repens  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)


  485. Commelina elegans  ______  CY  
    Water Grass 
    (name in CY) 


  486. Dichorisandra thyrsiflora  ______  (originally grew in Brazil)
    Blue Ginger 
    (herbaceous plant)


  487. Tradescantia spathacea  ______  (originally grew in Central America)
    Boat Lily 
    (or "Moses-in-the-Cradle" (herbaceous plant)
    P: Roel

    Genus WELDENIA

  488. Weldenia candida  (ph)  ______  GU
    "Wandering Jew"

    Weldenia candida is native in Guatemala on volcanic slopes among the lush growth of canyons in cloud forests. 
    It occurs at about 8,000 feet above sea level, and up to 12,000 feet, in areas of tundra and old cypress trees.  

    Weldenia candida,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family CONVOLVULACEAE  (Morning Glories)


  489. Dichondria repens  ______  CY


  490. Evolvulus convolvuloides  ______  CY

  491. Evolvulus squamosus  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Crab Bush 
    (name in CY)  

    Genus IPOMOEA

    There are about 500 species of IPOMOEA in the world, with most in the tropics. There are close to 50 species of IPOMOEA in Costa Rica. 

  492. Ipomoea alba  ______  CR  (TPCR:88)
    Pantropical Moon Flower

    The Pantropical Moon Flower is an "evening glory" that opens at dusk. It has a nocturnal perfume that attracts hawkmoths.  

  493. Ipomoea batatas  (ph)  ______  GU  MX(YU)  (native to tropical America)
    Sweet Potato 
    S: Camote,
    or Boniato. or Batata

    The Sweet Potato, or Camote, as it is called in the Yucatan, is a starchy root vegetable that has long played an important role in the life of the Mayan people, both as a food and as a symbolic "lid" to the underworld.  
    For that reason, at some places the root is harvested only at noon because farmers consider that time of day to be a less risky hour to open the passageway to darkness.
    In past times, children would make a bracelet of thread, painted indigo blue, and hung from it the bone of an agouti, or paca, believing it to be a lucky charm to help them more easily find Camotes.

    There are 4 varieties of Camote in the Yucatan region of Mexico: "Cuban", white (or blanco), purple, and yellow.
    Camote blanco is the most consumed of the four varieties. It may be candied in sugar or honey.

    In rural Mayan communities, Camote is still cooked in a hearth, nestled among the hot ashes. It is also combined with maize (or corn) to make a porridge.
    Sweetened Camote is used to fill Pastelitos, which are tiny empanadas dusted with powdered sugar.

    (from the book: "Yucatan. Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)       


    Ipomoea batatas,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  494. Ipomoea carnea  ______  GU
    Pink Morning Glory

  495. Ipomoea imperati  ______  CY

  496. Ipomoea indica  (var. acuminata)  ______  CR  CY  DR

    In Costa Rica, Ipomoea indica is a cultivated morning glory.

    In the Dominican Republic, Ipomoea indica is a food plant for the butterfly Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail.  

  497. Ipomoea lobata  ______  (native to tropical and subtropical America)
    Firecracker Vine 
    (or Spanish Flag (climbing plant with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Bandera Espanola

    With its tubular flowers, Ipomoea lobata differs markedly from other species in the genus. 

  498. Ipomoea mexicana  (or Ipomoea purpurea ______  GU

  499. Ipomoea passifloroides  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands)

  500. Ipomoea pes-caprae  ______  CR  (TPCR:333)  (grows by tropical beaches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans)
    Ipomoea pes-caprae  (var. brasiliensis)  ______  CY
    Beach Morning Glory 
     (a herbaceous plant)
    P: Batata de Mar
    S: Bejuco de Playa,
    or Pudre Oreja

  501. Ipomoea quamoclit  ______  (native to tropical America)
    Cardinal Climber 
    (climbing plant with simple, alternating leaves)
    P: Corda de Viola
    S: Cabello de Angel

  502. Ipomoea trifida  ______  CR  (TPCR:87)
    Morning Glory
    S: Churristate,
    or Pudre Oreja

    Ipomoea trifida
    is a widespread species. It is found from Mexico to northern South America.
    In Costa Rica, it grows in lowlands up to 4,500 feet above sea level, on roadsides, streamsides, and pasture edges. 
    It is common in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica.

  503. Ipomoea umbraticola  ______  CR  (TPCR:87)

  504. Ipomoea violacea  ______  CY


  505. Jacquemontia havanensis  ______  CY

    Family COSTACEAE  (Costus Family, inc. Spiral Gingers)


  506. Cheilocostus speciosus  ______  CR  (TPCR:128)   originally from southeast Asia
    Crepe Ginger
    S: Cana Agria

    Genus COSTUS

    In Central America, plants in COSTUS are fed upon for their nectar by the hummingbird, the Violet Sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus.

    In Central America, plants in COSTUS are fed upon for their nectar by the hummingbird, the Violet Sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus.

  507. Costus allenii  ______  PN  (on Barro Colorado Island)

  508. Costus laevis  ______  CR
    Wild Ginger
    S: Cana Agria

  509. Costus malortieanus  ______  CR  (common at La Selva)

  510. Costus pulverulentus  ______  CR  (common at La Selva)

  511. Costus scaber  ______  BR
    a Spiral Ginger

    Costus scaber is a plant in northern Amazonian Brazil favored of food by the large and colorful hummingbird, the Crimson Topaz, Topaza pella
    That hummingbird has been seen during FONT tours north of Manaus.

    Family CRASSULACEAE  (Stonecrop, or Orpine Family)


    On some Caribbean islands in the eastern West Indies, KALANCHOE plants are a favored food source for the hummingbird, the Green-throated Carib. Eulampis holosericeus.  

    Family CUCURBITACEAE  (Gourds, or Cucumbers)


  512. Cionosicyos pomiformis  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands) (vulnerable)
    Duppy Gourd 
    (name in CY)  


  513. Citrullus lanatus  ______

    Genus CUCURBITA:  Pumpkins,
    or Squashes  (native to the American tropics; now grown throughout, including on Caribbean islands) 

    The genus CUCURBITA is composed of approximately 27 species, 19 or so of which are wild, and 6 domesticated. The center of diversity is in Mesoamerica.   
    CUCURBITA has been cultivated for at least 4,000 years in the Yucatan region of Mexico, where a great diversity exists and where it is still possible to find wild ancestors of the cultivated plants.
    CUCURBITA species continue in Mesoamerica to be very important, as they form part of a nutritionally complementary trio along with corn and beans. 

  514. Cucurbita argyrosperma  ______  MX(YU)
    S: Calabaza de Pepita Gruesa,
    or Calabraza Pipiana

    It is said that the Cushaw, or Calabaza de Pepita Gruesa, was domesticated in southern Mexico around 7,000 years ago.
    This squash is one of the first fruits harvested in the milpa, or crop field. Young ones are gathered in July and August, mature ones is September and October.
    The spherical form of the fruit can reach a diameter of 8 inches. The distinctive pattern of the outer skin has white and green striations. The flesh is whitish to pale yellow and almost translucent.
    The seeds of the Cushaw are valued as much or more than the flesh, such that the fruit itself is rarely found for sale in markets. The seeds have a white body.

    Because the plant Cucurbita argyrosperma grows and spreads rapidly, forming an effective weed control, it is often the first crop to be planted.

    Calabaza de Pepito Gruesa is consumed in the Yucatan as a vegetable when it is very young, fried in lard and salted, or boiled in water with salt and Seville orange juice.
    Its flowers are chopped and fried with onion, mixed with scrambled eggs, or added to a soup.
    As it matures, the flesh becomes very fibrous, such that it is undesirable as food for humans, and it is used instead as feed for pigs and barnyard fowl.
    However, the seeds of the plant are particularly prized. They may be toasted, salted, and eaten whole, or shelled and ground to become the rich green sauce of the Yucatan's famous Papadzules.

    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)        

  515. Cucurbita moschata  ______  MX(YU)
    Winter Squash 
    (or West Indian Pumpkin, or Cuban Pumpkin)
    S: Calabaza, or Calabaza de Pepita Menuda

    The fruits of the Calabaza are varied, although the most common form in the Yucatan markets of Mexico,  is flattened with segmented ridges all the way around.
    The skin is very thin and dark green when young. It is thicker and yellow when it matures and as the size of the fruit enlarges up to 12 inches in diameter from the 2 to 6 inches that it was when it was green and young.
    Young squash is harvested July to October. Mature squash, in November and December.      

    The Spanish word for squash seeds is Pepita. 
    In the markets in the Yucatan of Mexico, there are big burlap bags of 3 main types of squash seeds:
    1) a small, pale brownish one that still has its shell
    2) a larger one with a white shell
    and 3) a green one from the same seed as the larger one but with the white shell removed.
    The small seed is known as Pepita Menuda and comes from Cucurbita moschata.
    The other two are known as Pepita Gruesa (or Pepita Verde if the shell is removed) and come from Cucurbita argyrosperma (above).
    While squash seeds are used occasionally in other parts of Mexico, in the Yucatan region they continue as a vital part of nutrition and cuisine and are used in many regional dishes.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)

  516. Cucurbita pepo  ______  MX(YU)    
    Summer Squash 
    (or Zucchini 
    S: Calabacita,
    or Calabraza Italiana, or Calabacin 

    Cucurbita pepo is the world's most extensively grown member of the genus. Among the long list of cultivars are such diverse forms of squashes as these:
    crookneck, acorn, and zucchini, as well as the pumpkin so well known in relation to Halloween and pumpkin pies in the US and Canada,
    In the Yucatan region of Mexico, Cucurbita pepo, Calabacita, is the least cultivated squash, with the least diversity, and with only variety, the zucchini, appearing in the markets, and it only infrequently. 

    Cucurbita pepo is notable for being the oldest cultivated squash. In Mesoamerica, it is one of the oldest of all species to be domesticated, with archaeological remains dating it to approximately 8,750 B.C.

    The Calabacita is a long slender cylinder from 4 to 6 inches in length. It is a light green color with white streaks. 
    The flesh is a pale yellow green and has soft edible seeds when the fruit is young.
    The plant flowers in the Yucatan from June to August. The young fruits are harvested in August.  

    In the Yucatan, the Calabacita is used in soups and stews. The fruits, stems, and flowers are all consumed  

    (from the book "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling) 

    Genus FEVILLEA

  517. Fevillea cordifolia  ______  CY

    Genus SECHIUM

  518. Sechium edule  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:174)   native to Mexico, now also grown on Caribbean islands
    (or Vegetable Pear, Alligator Pear, or Mirliton
    S: Chayote,
    or Chayotera

    The "Chayote"  is a large type of squash whose flesh can be eaten raw or, more commonly, cooked as a vegetable to accompany a main meat dish.  

    The plant Sechium edule is unusual in that, rather than spreading on the ground, its vine must climb up a vertical surface.
    The fruit measures from 3 and a half to 5 inches in length. It is pale green, and the flesh is watery and somewhat insipid, with a vaguely sweet taste. 
    It has one large, soft edible seed in the center, which has a slight flavor of almonds. 

    There are two varieties of Chayote: a smallish one with a smooth skin, and a larger one covered with spines.

    The plant is native to Mexico (as noted above), and also to Guatemala. It is harvested year-round in the Yucatan region.

    When Chayote is sliced in half lengthwise, it has the appearance of the sole of a shoe. Stuffed with meat, the dish is known as "Chancletas" or "sandals".

    (from the book: "Yucatan Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)

    Family CUPRESSACEAE  (Cypress, Juniper)


  519. Cupressus lusitanica  ______  CR  (TPCR:223)   originally from central Mexico to Honduras
    Mexican Cypress
    S: Cipres


  520. Juniperus gracilior  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, mountain ranges: Bahoruco, Massif de la Selle)
    S: Sabina



  521. Carludovica drudei  ______  CR

  522. Carludovica palmata  ______  CR 
    Panama Hat Palm 

    Carludovica palmata
    is the true Panama hat palm. Panama Hats, or Jipijapas, are made from the young leaf fibers from the plant.
    Panama Hats originally came from Ecuador, but they became popular when the Panama Canal was built, hence the name.

    Carludovica palmata
    is often cultivated.   

  523. Carludovica rotundifolia  ______  CR  (TPCR:89,90)   occurs from Honduras to Panama
    S: Chidra

    Carludovica rotundifolia
    is similar to Carludovica palmata, but the leaf of Carludovica palmata has longer and more irregular segments or teeth. 
  524. Carludovica sulcata  ______  CR

    Family CYATHEACEAE  (Tree Ferns)

    Genus CYATHEA 

    A Tree Fern in the genus Cythea, photographed at Copalinga in southern Ecuador,
    during the FONT tour in April 2014   
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  525. Cyathea sp.  ______  EC  (in the above photo)   

    To Top of Page