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 2nd part of a three-part list of Tropical Plants of the Americas compiled by Armas Hill 

Photo at upper right: HELICONIA, photographed during the FONT tour 
in southern Ecuador in April 2014  
(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 
are in the first and third parts of this list:

(from ACANTHACEAE, Acanthus to CYATHEACEAE, Tree Ferns)

(from OCHNACEAE, Wild Plane to ZYGOPHYLLACEAE, Caltrop)


Links to Plant Families in this Part of the List:


DRACAENACEAE    EBENACEAE - Ebony and Persimmon  

ERICACEAE - Heath family    ERYTHROXYLACEAE - Coca family

EUPHORBIACEAE - Spurges    including Poinsettia, Rubber Tree, Cassava (or Tapioca) 

FABACEAE - Legume, or Pea or Bean Family  (includes CAESALPINIOIDEAE, the Carob Plants, and MIMOSOIDEAE, the Mimosa Plants)   
including 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

GOODENIACEAE - Fan-flowers    GROSSULARIACEAE  includes Escallonias    

includes Poor man's Umbrella       HUMIRIACEAE     ICACINACEAE     

includes Pecan

LAMIACEAE, or LABIATAE - Mints   includes Pineapple Sage, Teak 

LAURACEAE - Laurel   includes Cassia Cinnamon, Avocado

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

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

LORANTHACEAE - Mistletoes     LYTHRACEAE - Loosestrifes   includes Pomegranate


MALVACEAE - Mallows  (includes BOMBACACEAE, the Cotton Tree Plants)   
including Cuipo Tree, Kapok (or Ceiba) Tree, Hand-flower Tree, Okra, other Rose Mallows (or Hibiscus)

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


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

MUSACEAE - Banana plants, Heliconias   includes Banana, Plantain

MYRICACEAE - Wax-myrtle     MYRISTICACEAE - Nutmeg     MYRSINACEAE - Myrsine

MYRTACEAE - Myrtles   includes Allspice, Guava     

includes Bougainvillea     NYMPHAEACEAE - Water Lilies


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:xxx), 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 Forsyth, 2007.
As noted above, the code (TPCR:xxx) in this list refers to pages with a photograph of a particular plant.     

     A List of Tropical Plants of the Americas, Part 2:



  1. Pteridium aquilinum  ______  DR  (in the Dominican Republic, in the Cordillera Central)
    Bracken Fern
    S: Helecho Calimete 

    Family DILLENIACEAE  (Rose Apples)


  2. Curatella americanum  ______  CR  (TPCR:266)  Occurs from Mexico to South America, also Cuba
    Sandpaper Tree
    S: Raspaguacal,
    or Chumico de Palo

    Curatella americanum
    survives fires, which actually stimulates its seeds to germinate. 
    Silica in the leaves makes them good for sanding wood or scrubbing pots and pans.
    Tannins in the bark can be used for curing hides.

    Genus DILLENIA

  3. Malayan dillenia  ______  (native to Malaysia and Indonesia, now grows wild on Caribbean islands)
    Malayan Dillenia 
    (bush with simple, alternating leaves)

    Family DIOSCOREACEAE  (Yam)


  4. Dioscorea alata  ______  MX(YU)  (native to India, brought to Mexico via Africa)
    (or Winged, or Water Yam, or Air Potato)

  5. Dioscorea bulbifera  ______  MX(YU)  (native to India, brought to Mexico via Africa)
    (or Winged, or Water Yam, or Air Potato)


    Genus DRACAENA

  6. Dracaena americana  ______  CR   grows naturally in Costa Rica on the southern Pacific slope at about 300 feet above sea level

    Dracaena americana
    is 1 of 2 species in the Dracaena genus that are native in the New World.  

  7. Dracaena fragans  ______  CR  (TPCR:224)   originally from Africa
    Corn Plant 

    Family EBENACEAE  (Ebony and Persimmon)


  8. Diospyros digyna  ______  MX(YU)
    Black Persimmon 
    (or Black Sapote, or Chocolate Pudding Fruit)
    S: Zapote Negro,
    or Zapote Prieto

  9. Diospyros nicaraguensis  ______  CR

    Family ERICACEAE  (Heath Family)


  10. Cavendishia bracteata  ______  CR  (TPCR:321)   occurs from Mexico to Bolivia
    S: Colmillos


  11. Pernettya prostrata  ______  CR  (TPCR:309)   occurs from Mexico south into the Andes Mountains in South America  
    S: Arrayan

    Pernettya prostrata
    is closely related to Wintergeen, Gaulitheria procumbens, in temperate North America.

    Family ERYHROXYLACEAE  (Coca Family)


  12. Erythroxylum amplum  ______  CR

  13. Erythroxylum areolatum  ______  CY  
    Smoke Wood 
    (name in CY)

  14. Erythroxylum confusum  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) (critically endangered in CY) 
    Smoke Wood 
    (name in CY)

  15. Erythroxylum fimbriatum  ______  CR

  16. Erythroxylum havanense  ______  CR

  17. Erythroxylum lucidum  ______  CR

  18. Erythroxylum rotundifolium  ______  CR  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Rat Wood 
    (name in CY)

    Family EUPHORBIACEAE  (Spurges) 

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, there are over 200 described species of EUPHORBIACEAE.

    Genus ACALYPHA

  19. Acalypha chamaedrifolia  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)

  20. Acalypha diversifolia  ______  CR

  21. Acalypha hispida  (ph)  ______  BZ  MX  (now naturalized in Mexico and Belize, originally from Oceania)   

    Other names for Acalypha hispida are Red Hot Cat's Tail, or Fox Tail.

    Acalypha hispida, or Chenille   
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  22. Acalypha macrostachya  ______  CR

  23. Acalypha schiedeana  ______  CR

    Genus ADELIA

  24. Adelia ricinella  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies) (critically endangered in CY)

  25. Adelia triloba  ______  CR

    In northwest Costa Rica, Adelia triloba is a very rare dry-forest plant that has been found to be a host plant for the caterpillar of a butterfly that seems to be "everywhere" in that habitat, Myscelia pattenia, the Mexican Bluewing. 


  26. Alchornea costaricensis  ______  CR

  27. Alchornea glandulosa  ______  BR
    P: Tapia
    or Iricuruna 

    Birds that feed on the fruits of Alchornea glandulosa and other plants in that genus include: thrushes, tanagers, aracaris, vireos, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, other flycatchers, and Blue Dacnis.  

  28. Alchornea iricurana  ______  BR

  29. Alchornea latifolia  ______  CR

  30. Alchornea sidaefolia  ______  BR

  31. Alchornea triplinervia  ______  BR 


  32. Argythamnia proctorii  ______  CY  (endemic to the Cayman Islands) 
    Cayman Silverbush

    Genus ASTROCASIA  

  33. Astrocasia tremula  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands) (endangered in CY)


  34. Bernardia dichotoma  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)


  35. Chamaesyce blodgettii  ______  CY

  36. Chamaesyce bruntii  ______  CY  (endemic to Little Cayman Island) (critically endangered)

  37. Chamaesyce mesembrianthemifolia  ______  CY
    Tittie Molly 
    (name in CY)

  38. Chamaesyce ophtalmica  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)

  39. Chamaesyce torralbasii  ______  CY  (nearly endemic to the Cayman Islands)


  40. Chascotheca domingensis  ______  CY

  41. Chascotheca neopeltandra  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)   


  42. Cnidoscolus chayamansa  ______  MX(YU)
    Tree Spinach
    S: Chaya,
    or Arbol Espinaca, or Espinaca Maya

    Genus CODIAEUM

  43. Codiaeum variegatum  ______  CR  (TPCR:133)  originally from southern Asia
    S: Croton

    Genus CROTON

    Plants in CROTON are visited by the butterfly Doxocopa laure, the Silver Emperor.

  44. Croton barahonensis  (*)  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Croton barahonensis is a food plant for the butterflies: Strymon istapa, the Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon bazochii, the Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon acis, the Bartram's Scrub Hairstreak.

  45. Croton floribundus  ______  BR

  46. Croton gossypiifolius  ______  CR

  47. Croton killipianus  ______  CR

  48. Croton linearis  (*)  ______  CY  DR  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) 
    (name in CY)

    Croton linearis
    has white flowers. In the Dominican Republic, it is a food plant for the butterflies: Strymon istapa, the Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon linearis, the Bartram's Scrub-Hairstreak, Junonia genoveva, the Mangrove Buckeye, Danaus gilippus, the Queen.   

  49. Croton lucidus  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)

  50. Croton nitens  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Wild Cinnamon 
    (name in CY)

  51. Croton reflexifolius  ______  CR

  52. Croton rosmarinoides  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  53. Croton salutaris  ______  BR

  54. Croton schiedeanus  ______  CR

  55. Croton urucurana  ______  BR
    P: Sangue de Drago
    or Urucurana

    Among the birds that feed on the fruits of Croton urucurana are pigeons and tinamous.


    Species in DALECHAMPIA are food plants for butterflies in two genera: HAMADRYAS and DYNAMINE.

  56. Dalechampia cissifolia  ______  CR  

    Dalechampia cissifolia is a host plant for the caterpillars of the butterflies Hamadryas guatemalena, the Guatemalan Cracker, and Hamadryas arinome, or ariensis, the Turquoise Cracker. 

  57. Dalechampia dioscoreifolia  ______  CR

  58. Dalechampia friedrichsthalii  ______  CR

  59. Dalechampia heteromorpha  ______  CR

    Dalechampia heteromorpha
    is a host plant for the caterpillars of the butterfles Hamadryas arinome or ariensis, the Turquoise Cracker, and Hamadryas guatemalena, the Guatemalan Cracker. 

  60. Dalechampia scandens  ______  CR
    S: Ortiguilla, or Bejuco de Pan

    In Costa Rica, Dalechampia scandens is a food plant for the butterflies Catonephele nyctimus and Mestra anymone.

    Dalechampia scandens is also a host plant for the butterflies known as crackers, including: Hamadryas guatemalena and Hamadryas februa,   which are respectively the Guatemalan Cracker and the Gray Cracker. The females of these butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves of the plant.

    Above: the Gray Cracker
    Below; the Guatemalan Cracker
    Both were photographed during FONT tours, 
    the lower butterfly in Guatemala.
    (photos by Marie Gardner) 

  61. Dalechampia spathulata  ______  CR

  62. Dalechampia tiliifolia  ______  CR 

  63. Dalechampia websteri  ______  CR

    Dalechampia websteri
    is a host plant for the caterpillar of the butterfly Hamadryas arinome, or ariensis, the Turquoise Cracker.

    Genus DRYPETES

  64. Drypetes standleyi  ______  CR 


  65. Euphorbia cassythoides  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)

  66. Euphorbia fulgens  ______  native to Mexico
    Scarlet Plume

  67. Euphorbia pulcherrima  (ph)  ______  BR  CR  DR  (TPCR:134)   originally grew in Mexico and Guatemala
    Poinsettia  (a bush with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Bandera,
    or Pastora

    Poinsettia is now cultivated in Costa Rica. However, a "wild population" was found in the country in 1995 in the central Pacific region at about 2,700 feet above sea level.

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

    Feeding on a Poinsettia, a Malachite butterfly,
    during a FONT tour in southeastern Brazil.

  68. Euphorbia schlechtendalii  ______  CR  

  69. Euphorbia trichotoma  ______  CY  

    Genus GARCIA

  70. Garcia nutans  ______  CR


  71. Gymnanthes lucida  ______  CR  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    Crab Bush 
    (name in CY)

    Genus HEVEA

  72. Hevea brasiliensis  ______  (native to the Amazon region of Brazil)
    Para Rubber Tree 
    (with leaves palmately divided)
    P: Seringa
    S: Caucho

    During FONT tours in Amazonian Brazil, in the area of Manaus, we've seen "rubber trees" 
    in the forest, where they were native.
    During the "rubber boom", from about 1880 to 1910, that city in Manaus flourished.
    During our tours, we've visited the famous opera house in that city, from that era.    


  73. Hieronyma guatemalensis  ______  CR

  74. Hieronyma oblonga  (var. benthamii  ______  CR

  75. Hieronyma poasana  ______  CR 


  76. Hippomane mancinella  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:337)  (endangered in CY)
    S: Manzanillo 

    Genus HURA

  77. Hura crepitans  ______  CR  (native to the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    Sandbox Tree 
    S: Jabillo

    Genus JATROPHA 

  78. Jatropha aconitifolia  ______  CR

  79. Jatropha curcas  ______  CR

  80. Jatropha divaricata  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    Wild Oil Nut 
    (name in CY)  

  81. Jatropha podagrica  ______  (native to Central America)
    Guatemala Rhubarb 
    (bush with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Ruibarbo, or "Capa de Rey" 

    Gemus MABEA

  82. Mabea occidentalis  ______  CR

    Genus MANIHOT

  83. Manihot carthagenesis  ______  CR

  84. Manihot esculenta  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:176)  originally in the American tropics, probably Brazil
    (or Tapioca, or Manioc) 
    P: Mandioca
    S: Yuca,
    or Mandioca, or Guacamote

    Cassava was the staple diet of the early Indians on Caribbean islands, and today it is still an important item in the diet of many West Indians.
    It can be ground into meal which is used to make a kind of bread.
    The juice obtained from grated cassava root is flavored with cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar to make cassareep, an essential component of a stew known as pepperpot. 


  85. Margaritaria nobilis  ______  CR  CY  (critically endangered in CY) 

    Genus OMPHALEA

  86. Omphalea diandra  ______  CR

    Omphalea diandra is the host plant for the striking moth, Urania fulgens, the Green Page Moth, or also called the Urania Swallowtail Moth.
    The plant is abundant in southern Costa Rica in the area of the Osa Peninsula. It is in that area where we have seen this beautiful diurnal moth during FONT tours.

    The caterpillars of Urania flugens eat the leaves of Omphalea diandra. Those leaves provide a low amount of toxic chemicals that the caterpillars incorporate into their systems to prevent predation. 
    But as the extent of the foraging increases, the plants produce higher concentrations of the toxic chemicals that can then kill the caterpillars. 
    The adult moths must then move to another region where the vines of Omphalea diandra have not recently been exploited by the caterpillar. Thus, they migrate, in hundreds or even thousands, away from that region in Costa Rica, with some going north as far as Guatemala and others south as far as Colombia.  

    A Green Urania Moth photographed during a FONT tour 
    in southern Costa Rica in the area of the Osa Peninsula
    (photo by Rosemary Lloyd)


  87. Phyllanthus acidus  ______  MX(YU)
    Otaheite Gooseberry 
    (or Malay Gooseberry)
    S: Grosella,
    or Ciruela sostena, or Cuatelolote, or Manzana estrella

  88. Phyllanthus angustifolius  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)
    Duppy Bush 
    (name in CY)

  89. Phyllanthus caymanensis  ______  CY  (endemic to the Cayman Islands) (vulnerable)

  90. Phyllanthus nutans  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)

  91. Phyllanthus valerii  ______  CR

  92. Phyllanthus sp.  ______  DR


  93. Picrodendron baccatum  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) (endangered in CY)
    Bitter Plum 
    (name in CY)

    Genus RICHERIA

  94. Richeria racemosa  ______  CR

    Genus SAPIUM

  95. Sapium jamaicaense  ______  CR

  96. Sapium macrocarpum  ______  CR

  97. Sapium oligoneuron  ______  CR

  98. Sapium pachystachys  ______  CR

  99. Sapium thelocarpum  ______  CR

    Genus SAVIA

  100. Savia erythroxyloides  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands) (vulnerable in CY)
    Wild Cocoplum 
    (name in CY)


  101. Securinega acidoton  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)


  102. Stillingia acutifolia  ______  GU

    The seeds of the euphorbiaceous shrub Stillingia acutifolia is a favorite food in Guatemala of the bird, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, when it occurs there during its non-breeding season.
    The foliage of that bush is poisonous to cattle, deadly if eaten in quantity, but the grosbeaks seem never to suffer any ill effects from its seeds.
    To extract the 3 small seeds, the birds crush the thick, three-lobed pods in their heavy bills, making a noise audible at a distance.
    (from the book "A Bird Watcher's Adventures in Tropical America" by Alexander Skutch) 

    Rose-breasted Grosbeak
    (photo by Howard Eskin)

  103. Stillingia zelayensis  ______  CR


  104. Tetroechidium euryphyllum  ______  CR


  105. Veconcibea pleiostemona  ______  CR

    Genus TRAGIA

  106. Tragia volubilis  ______  CY  
    Itching Vine 
    (name in CY)     

    Family FABACEAE  (Legumes. or Peas)

    Included here in FABACEAE is the now subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE, the CAROB PLANTS 
    and the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE, the MIMOSA PLANTS

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, there are about 210 described species in FABACEAE. 

    Genus ACACIA  (in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

    Recent DNA studies have indicated that ACACIA is an Old World genus. New World species are to be placed in the genus VACHELLIA.

    In the Dominican Republic, xeric ACACIA forest and scrub, with nearby flowers, is preferred habitat for the butterfly Papilio aristor, the Scarce Haitian Swallowtail.  


    A Scarce Haitian Swallowtail photographed 
    during a FONT tour in the Dominican Republic
    (photo by Marie Gardner)  

  107. Acacia collinsii  ______  CR  (TPCR:270)   occurs from Mexico to Colombia
    Ant Acacia
    S: Cornizuelo

    On the ground surrounding Acacia collinsii, there are distinct bare areas, kept clean by ants, to protect the plant from climbing vines and competitors.
    When a potential herbivore (leaf-eater) brushes up against the Ant Acacia, it is greeted by a frenzy of stinging ants coming from thorns at leaf bases.
    So animals stay away. Some birds are able to nest in the tree, not disturbed by the ants. And neither is a creature known as the Ant-acacia Beetle, Pelidnota punctulata.   

  108. Acacia cornigera  ______  CR

  109. Acacia cucuyo  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, only in the Sierra Martin Garcia) 

  110. Acacia farnesiana  ______  CR  DR 

    In the Dominican Republic, Acacia farnesiana is a food plant for the butterfly Strymon columnella, the Hewitson's Hairstreak.

  111. Acacia skleroxyla  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola where widespread)
    S: Candelon

  112. Acacia vogeliana  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Acacia vogeliana is a food plant for the butterfly Danaus eresimus, the Soldier.

    Genus ACOSMIUM 

  113. Acosmium panamense  ______  CR

    Genus ALBIZIA  (
    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE) 

  114. Albizia adinocephala  ______  CR

  115. Albizia caribaea  ______  CR

  116. Albizia guachapele  ______  CR

  117. Albizia saman  ______  CR  (TPCR:271,272)  (native from Central America and south to the Amazon)
    Rain Tree 
    (a tree with leaves pinnately divided)
    P: Saman
    S: Saman,
    or Cenizaro (in Costa Rica)

    Genus ANDIRA

  118. Andira inermis  ______  CR

    Genus ARACHIS

  119. Arachis hypogaea  ______  MX(YU)  (native to southeast South America, in Brazil)
    (or Peanut)  
    P: Amendoim
    S: Cacahuete, or Mani  

    The Groundnut (or Peanut) is a small, annual trailing plant. It has a unique feature of producing small, pea-like flowers above ground, and then, after pollination has taken place, "burying" the seed pods in the ground to ripen. Hence, the common name "Groundnut".   

    The Groundnut (or Peanut) is now cultivated throughout the tropics. 
    The seeds are harvested for their oil and protein. The oil is used for food and cooking, and it is also converted into margarine and soap.
    The nuts are often used in soups and curries in the Caribbean, and as roasted peanuts and peanut butter they are a notable part of the diet of people in North America and Europe.

    The plant has other uses as well. After the oil has been extracted, the residue, called groundnut cake, forms a valuable cattle and poultry feed. The leaves and other parts of the plant remaining after the nuts have been dug up are used a fertilizer.     

  120. Arachis pintoi  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:139)   native to central Brazil
    Perennial Peanut
    S: Mani Forajero

    Genus ATELEiA  (

  121. Ateleia herbert-smithii  ______  CR

    Genus BAUHINIA  (

  122. Bauhinia blakeana  ______  BR

    Bauhinia blakeana and Bauhinia variegata (below) can be especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.

  123. Bauhinia divaricata  ______  CY  DR
    Bull Hoof 
    (name in CY)

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

  124. Bauhinia guianensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:239)  occurs from southern Mexico to South America
    Monkey Ladder
    S: Escalera de Mono

  125. Bauhinia monandra  ______  JM
    Orchid Tree

    On the Caribbean island of Jamaica, the Orchid Tree, Bauhinia monandra, is a favored for feeding by the hummingbird, the Jamaican Mango, Anthracothorax mango, a bird endemic to that island.  

  126. Bauhinia ungulata  ______  CR

  127. Bauhinia variegata  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:135)   originally from Asia
    Bauhinia variegata candida  ______  BR

    Genus BROWNEA  (
    was in CAESALPINIACEAE, now in subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE)

    BROWNEA species are favored as a food source by the hummingbird, the Pale-bellied Hermit, Phaethornis anthophilus. 

  128. Brownea grandiceps  ______  (native, as indicated by the common English name, in Venezuela)
    Rose of Venezuela 
    (tree with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Rosa de Montana

    Genus CAESALPINIA  (
    was in CAESALPINIACEAE, now in subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE)) 

    Plants in CAESALPINIA are especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds, in Brazil and elsewhere. 

  129. Caesalpinia barahonensis  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, only in the areas of Barahona and the Sierra Martin Garcia)  

  130. Caesalpinia bonduc  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:338)   (originally believed to be from southeast Asia)  
    Gray Nickernut
    (name in CY)

  131. Caesalpinia coriaria  (ph)  ______  CR  (in parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, northern South America)
    Divi-divi Tree

    The Divi-divi Tree is the national tree of the island of Curacao, one of the former Netherlands Antilles. An airline based in those islands has been called "Divi-divi Air".  

    In Aruba, the Divi-divi Trees always point to the southwest due to the trade winds that blow across the island. 


     A bee in a Divi-divi Tree
     (photo courtesy of Michiel Koomen)

  132. Caesalpinia echinata  ______  BR  
    P: Pau-Brasil

    The Pernambuco tree grows in Brazil in the Mata Atlantica, the Atlantic Forest. It has been especially famous as the wood used in the bow for the world's best violins.

  133. Caesalpinia eriostachys  ______  CR  (TPCR:26,27)  occurs from Mexico to Panama
    S: Saino

    In Costa Rica, the Saino is most abundant in dry Pacific lowlands. 

  134. Caesalpinia exostemma  ______  CR

  135. Caesalpinia intermedia  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)

  136. Caesalpinia pulcherrima  (ph)  ______  CR  GU  (TPCR:137)  may have originally grown in the West Indies, not known for sure
    Barbados Flower 
    (a bush with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Clavellina

    Various other names for Caesalpinia pulcherrima include Peacock Flower, Poinciana, Dwarf Poinciana, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, and Flamboyant-de-Jardin (S).   

    In Guatemala, although Caesalpinia pulcherrima is abundant along the banks of the Motagua River, where it is seemingly indigenous, botanists are not certain that is so, even though the species is native to many regions elsewhere in the American tropics.

    Caesalpinia pulcherrima,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  137. Caesalpinia wrightiana  ______  CY 

    Genus CAJANUS

  138. Cajanus cajan  ______  (now grows on Caribbean islands, maybe from Africa or India)
    Pigeon Pea

    The plant Cajanus cajan is a perennial shrub which grows to a height of about 9 feet. It is capable of withstanding extremes of drought, and its ability to "fix" nitrogen in the soil makes it a useful plant to use in crop-rotation. 

    Pigeon Pea is widely cultivated in the tropics, and it is a particularly important crop in the Caribbean region.
    The mature pods range in color from light green to dark brown. 
    A well-established plant can produce good, seed-bearing pods for a number of years.
    The seeds vary in color from gray to yellow and resemble small garden peas in shape and size. They are often used in soups and curries after first being dried and split.
    Rice with Pigeon Peas is a favorite dish on a number of Caribbean islands, particularly Trinidad and Jamaica. 
    In Jamaica, the peas are sometimes cooked in the form of a dumpling.  
    Also in Jamaica, there is a dish called "rice and peas", but the "peas" are not always Pigeon Peas, but instead red kidney beans.    

    Genus CALLIANDRA  (
    now in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE:  MIMOSAS) 

    CALLIANDRA species are especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.  

  139. Calliandra costaricensis  ______  CR

  140. Calliandra cubensis  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  141. Calliandra haematocephala  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:138)  (in subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)  (native to Bolivia)
    Red Powder Puff  
    (a bush with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Bellota,
    or Pompon

  142. Calliandra houstoniana  (ph)  ______  GU

    Calliandra houstoniana,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  143. Calliandra inaequilatera  ______  BR

  144. Calliandra picardae  (*)  ______  DR  (in the Dominican Republic, on the lower Sierra de Bahoruco)
    S: Clavelina

  145. Calliandra quetzal  ______  GU

    Calliandra quetzal is named for the Resplendent Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala.   

  146. Calliandra surinamensis  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:138)  native to northern South America
    Pink Powder Puff 
    (bush with leaves pinnately divided)  

  147. Calliandra tweedyi  ______  BR


  148. Canavalia maritima  ______  CR

    In Costa Rica and elsewhere, Canavalia maritima grows tightly entangled with Ipomoea pes-caprae to form the "pes-caprae association" on sandy beaches. 
    Ipomoea pes-caprae is in the Morning Glory Family, CONVOLVULACEAE. 

  149. Canavalia nitida  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)  (endangered in CY)
    Horse Bean 
    (name in CY)

  150. Canavalia rosea  ______  CY
    Sea Bean 
    (name in CY)

    Genus CASSIA

  151. Cassia fistula  ______  CR  (TPCR:30)  (originally in India)
    Golden Shower Tree, Pudding Pipe Tree, or Purging Cassia

  152. Cassia grandis  ______  CR  (TPCR:31)   occurs from Mexico to northern South America, and in the Antilles
    Pink Shower Tree, or Coral Shower Tree
    S: Carao


  153. Centrosema virginianum  ______  CY


  154. Chamaecrista lineata  ______  CY
    Storm Weed 
    (name in CY)

  155. Chamaecrista nictitans  ______  CY
    Wild Shame Face 
    (name in CY)  

    Genus CLITORIA

  156. Clitoria ternatea  ______  (thought to have originally grown in the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    Butterfly Pea 
    (climbing plant with leaves pinnately divided or tripartite)
    S: Azulejo, or Conchitas 

    Genus COJOBA   (in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

  157. Cojoba costaricensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:292)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama
    Angel's Hair
    S: Lorito,
    or Cabello de Angel

    Genus COPAIFEA  (

  158. Copaifea aromatica  ______  CR

    Genus CYNOMETRA  (

  159. Cynometra hemitomophylla  ______  CR


  160. Dalbergia brownei  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  161. Dalbergia ecastaphyllum  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  162. Dalbergia retusa  ______  CR
    S: Cocobolo

  163. Dalbergia tucurrensis  ______  CR

    Genus DELONIX

  164. Delonix regia  (was Poinciana regia)  ______  CR  DR  (TPCR:32)  (originally grew in Madagascar, now planted widely in the tropics)
    (or Royal Poinciana (a tree with leaves pinnately divided) 
    P: Flamboaia
    S: Flamboyan, Malinche, Arbol de Fuego,
    or Tabuchin

    The tree Delonix regia can be especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.  

    In the Dominican Republic, the ornamental Delonix regia is a food plant for native butterfly Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail.

    Genus DIALIUM  (

  165. Dialium guianense  ______  CR

    Genus DIPHYSA

  166. Diphysa americana  ______  CR  (TPCR:28)

  167. Diphysa robinioides  ______  CR

    Genus DIPTERYX

  168. Dipteryx odorata  ______  BR
    Tonka Bean Tree

  169. Dipteryx panamensis  ______  CR  PN  (TPCR:240,241)    occurs from Nicaragua to Colombia
    Tonka Bean Tree
    S: Almendro

    Great Green Macaws
    feed on the fruits and seeds of Dipteryx panamensis. The macaws move to different areas from November to March as they search for these trees with their favored food.

    Great Green Macaw, in a mural

    Ripe Dipteryx panamensis fruit is also fed upon by a large number of mammals. A study on Barro Colorado Island in Panama noted 16 mammal species feeding on the fruit of the tree.
    Visitors feeding at, and beneath, the tree included a mix of animals such as peccaries and seed-dispersers such as bats.

    Profuse lilac flowers of Dipteryx panamensis when in bloom attract a variety of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.   

    Genus DUSSIA

  170. Dussia cuscatlantica  ______  CR

  171. Dussia macroprophyllata  ______  CR

    Genus ENTADA

  172. Entada gigas  ______  DR
    Monkey Ladder Vine 
    (or Seaheart)
    S: Caracol,
    or Chocho, or Samo 


  173. Enterolobium cyclocarpum  (*)  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:50,51)  (in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)
    Elephant-ear Tree 
    (or Earpod Tree, or Ear Fruit Tree)

    Other names for Enterolobium cyclocarpum include Guanacaste Tree, Caro-caro.
    "Guanacaste" is the dry region of northwestern Costa Rica. The Guanacaste Tree, as it is known there, is the national tree of Costa Rica.   

  174. Enterolobium schomburgkii  (*)  ______  CR   (in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE) 
    In Costa Rica, Enterolobium schomburgkii  is found on the northern Caribbean and southern Pacific sides of the country. 


    Species in ERYTHRINA can be especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds, including the Amazilia Hummingbird in South America.

    Branches of most, if not all, species of ERYTHRINA in the tropics will take root when planted in the ground.

  175. Erythrina crista-galli  ______  BR  (originally grew in South America, now cultivated elsewhere)
    Cockspur Coral Bean
      (this bush, and others in Erythrina, with leaves pinnately divided)

  176. Erythrina cochleata  ______  CR

  177. Erythrina costaricensis  ______  CR   occurs from Costa Rica to Colombia

    In Costa Rica, Erythrina costaricensis grows at lower elevations than Erythrina lanceolata, mostly in the southern half of the country. 

  178. Erythrina falcata  ______  BR

  179. Erythrina fusca  ______  CR

  180. Erythrina lanceolata  ______  CR  (TPCR:212,225,266)   occurs from Honduras to Panama
    Machete Flower
    S: Poro

    In Costa Rica, Erythrina lanceolata, or Machete Flower Trees, are planted to create "living fences".

  181. Erythrina mulunga  ______  BR

  182. Erythrina poeppigiana  ______  CR  (TPCR:33,34,196)
    Mountain Immortelle
    S: Poro 

    In Central America, Mountain Immortelle trees are often planted in coffee plantations. They provide shade for the coffee plants and enrich the soil with nitrogen.

  183. Erythrina speciosa  ______  BR
    P: Mulungu do Littoral

  184. Erythrina velutina  (ph)  ______  BR  CY  (native to northern South America and parts of the Caribbean)
    Coral Tree
    Cockspur Tree 
    (name in CY) (critically endangered in CY)

    Erythrina velutina
    was first described from the Brazilian offshore island Fernando de Noronha, where the native species there is now Erythrina velutina var. aurantiaca.   

    Erythrina velutina
    (photo by G. Kroeger, courtesy of Michiel Koomen)

  185. Erythrina verna  ______  BR


  186. Gliricidia sepium  (ph)  ______  CR  GU  (TPCR:226)   occurs from Mexico to northern South America
    Quick Stick
    S: Mata Raton,
    or Madero Negro, or Gallinitas

    Gliricidia sepium,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Genus GLYCINE

  187. Glycine max  ______  (native to Asia, now widely cultivated, more in the subtropics than the tropics)


  188. Haematoxylon brasiletto  ______  CR

    Genus HYMENAEA

  189. Hymenaea courbaril  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:267)  occurs in the West Indies, and from Mexico south to central South America 
    Stinking Toe
    P: Jatoba
    S: Guapinol

    Another name for Hymenaea courbarii is West Indian Locust.

    Genus INGA  (
    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE) 

    There are about 300 species of Inga trees, with most of them in the Amazon forest region, but with some in the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and other places in South America. 
    Over 50 species of Inga trees are known to occur in Costa Rica.

    Inga species are canopy and subcanopy trees recognizable by their alternate, even-pinnate, leaves. 
    Their flowers are arranged in inflorescences that are "puffballs". The main part of each flower is the stamens, and it is the white filaments of the numerous stamens (25 to 130 per flower) that provide the visual attraction.
    The flowers of Inga trees are most attractive to hummingbirds, and to some other birds. and to various butterflies and moths.  
    That is because Inga flowers secrete a nectar, that is enthusiastically fed upon by the creatures just mentioned.
    Inga flowers often have a distinctive odor. Most are sweet-smelling, suggesting moths as pollinators. Others have a yeasty smell, suggesting bats as the pollinators. The rest only have a very faint odor or none. Perhaps odor is not important to the hummingbirds and butterflies that frequently visit them   

    Names for Inga trees in Spanish are: Guabo (in Costa Rica), or Guajiniquil, or Caite, or Paterno.     

  190. Inga brenesii  ______  CR  With inflorescences borne singly.

  191. Inga coruscans  ______  CR

  192. Inga densiflora  ______  CR  With grouped, compound inflorescences.

  193. Inga goldmanii  ______  CR

  194. Inga longispica  ______  CR  With grouped, compound inflorescences.

  195. Inga marginata  ______  CR 

  196. inga mortoniana  ______  CR  With inflorescences borne singly.

  197. Inga oerstediana  ______  CR

  198. Inga paterno  ______  CR

  199. Inga punctata  ______  CR  With grouped, compound inflorescences. 

  200. Inga quaternata  ______  CR  With inflorerscences borne singly.

  201. Inga ruiziana  ______  CR

  202. Inga sapindoides  ______  CR

  203. Inga thibaudiana  ______  CR

  204. Inga tonduzii  ______  CR

  205. Inga venusta  ______  CR

  206. Inga vera  ______  CR
    Inga vera vera  ______  CR  (TPCR:52)

    Inga vera is the most common of the trees in its genus in dry regions of Costa Rica, where it often grows near rivers.  


  207. Lonchocarpus acuminatus  ______  CR

  208. Lonchocarpus costaricensis  ______  CR

  209. Lonchocarpus eriocarinalis  ______  CR

  210. Lonchocarpus minimiflorus  ______  CR

  211. Lonchocarpus oliganthus  ______  CR

  212. Lonchocarpus orotinus  ______  CR

  213. Lonchocarpus pentaphyllus  ______  CR

  214. Lonchocarpus rugosus  ______  CR

  215. Lonchocarpus velutinus  ______  CR

    Genus LYSILOMA  (
    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

  216. Lysiloma desmostachys  ______  CR

  217. Lysiloma seemannii  ______  CR


  218. Machaerium biovulatum  ______  CR

    Genus MACROLOBIUM  (

  219. Macrolobium costaricense  ______  CR

    Genus MIMOSA  (
    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

    There are 22 species of MIMOSA in Costa Rica.

  220. Mimosa diplotricha  ______  CR  (was Mimosa invisa)

    Mimosa diplotricha
    is similar to Mimosa polydactyla (below).

  221. Mimosa pigra  ______  CR
    S: Zarca,
    or Dormilona

    In Costa Rica, Mimosa pigra is a spiny, weedy shrub of the lowlands. 

  222. Mimosa polydactyla  ______  CR 

  223. Mimosa pudica  ______  CR  DR  (TPCR:93)  (originally grew in the tropical Western Hemisphere)
    Sensitive Plant 
    (bush with leaves pinnately divided)
    S: Sensitiva, or Dormidera, or Dormilona

    One of the Spanish names just given, Dormilona, means "sleepy head", relating to the plant's most striking feature.
    At night, or when the plant is touched, rained on, or experiencing a drastic temperature change, the leaflets fold up and the stem they are on collapses downward.   

    In the Dominican Republic, Mimosa pudica is a food plant for the butterfly Anartia lytrea, the Goddard's Anartia.

  224. Mimosa xanthocentra  ______   generally occurs in South America, similar to Mimosa pudica.

    Genus MORA

  225. Mora abbottii  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, in Sierra Septentrional, Cordillera Central, Sierra de Yamasa)
    S: Cola

    Mora abbotii
    is a large tree.

  226. Mora megistosperma  ______  CR
    S: Alcornoque,
    or Mora

  227. Mora oleifera  ______  CR

    Genus MUCUNA

    MUCUNA are large, extensive draping liana that climb by spiraling around other plants. 
    There are maybe 100 species of MUCUNA, 7 of which are in Costa Rica. 

    Morpho butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves of MUCUNA. Agoutis eat and bury the seeds. 

  228. Mucuna sp.  ______  CR  (TPCR:293)
    S: Ojo de Buey


  229. Myrospermum frutescens  ______  CR


  230. Pachyrhizus erosus  ______  MX(YU)
    Mexican Turnip 
    (or Mexican Potato, or Yam Bean)
    S: Jicama

    Genus PARKIA  (
    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

  231. Parkia pendula  ______  CR

    Genus PARKINSONIA  (
    was in CAESALPINIACEAE. now in subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE)     

  232. Parkinsonia aculeata  ______  CR  (TPCR:269)  (native to warm areas of the Western Hemisphere)  
    (or Jerusalem Thorn, Mexican Palo Verde, Retama(tree with leaves pinnately divided) 
    S: Espinillo,
    or Flor de Mayo or Flor de Mayo

    Genus PELTOGYNE  (was in CAEALPINIACEAE, now in subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE) 

  233. Peltogyne purpurea  ______  CR  

    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

  234. Pentaclethra macroloba  ______  CR  (TPCR:240)  occurs from Nicaragua to Panama, and in parts of South America
    S: Gavilan


  235. Phaseolus lunatus  ______  MX(YU)
    Lima Bean
    S: Ibes

    The Ib, or Common Lima Bean, is native to the Yucatan region of Mexico. 
    Ibes are said to be the fourth most important species in the Yucatecan milpa, along with black or common beans, corn, and squash.
    There are about 12 varieties of the ib, the most typical being sak ib (white and flat), mulicion (small, round, and white) and chak ib (red).
    In the Mayan market, bags of sak ib are a common sight, either dried or fresh. 
    The most plentiful harvest of Ibes occurs in December and January, although irrigation technology has made them more consistently available.
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling) 

  236. Phaseolus vulgaris  ______  CR  MX(YU)
    Black Bean  
    S: Frijoles Negro

    Other names for Phaseolus vulgaris are Common Bean, Kidney Bean, Navy Bean, Snap Bean, or Pole Bean.   

    In Costa Rica (and in most of Latin America), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are a "peasant crop" grown mostly on small farms.
    It grows best in cooler regions with 1,000 mm or more of rain annually.  

    Genus PISCIDIA

  237. Piscidia carthagenensis  ______  CR

  238. Piscidia piscipula  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    (name in CY)

    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE)

  239. Pithecellobium arboreum  ______  CR

  240. Pithecellobium brenesii  ______  CR

  241. Pithecellobium catenatum  ______  CR

  242. Pithecellobium costaricense  ______  CR

  243. Pithecellobium dulce  ______  CR

  244. Pithecellobium gigantifolium  ______  CR

  245. Pithecellobium longifolium  ______  CR

  246. Pithecellobium macrodenium  ______  CR

  247. Pithecellobium mangense  ______  CR

  248. Pithecellobium pedicellare  ______  CR

  249. Pithecellobium saman  (*)  ______  CR
    S: Cenizero, or Genizero 

    Pithcellobium saman is a spreading tree, native to the dry lowlands of Central America, from Mexico to northern South America.
    In Costa Rica, it is a prominent feature in pastures in the region of Guanacaste. 
    During the same weeks when the tree refoliates, it bears thousands of white and pink flowers (inflorescences), and shortly afterward, in the last two months of the dry season (in March-April), its fruits mature.   

  250. Pithcellobium unguis-catis  ______

    On the island of Bonaire, Pithcellobium unguis-catis can be particularly attractive for the butterflies Phoebis argante and Phoebis agarithe.  (The same for Senna bicapsularis, below.)  

  251. Pithecellobium valerioi  ______  CR


  252. Platymiscium pinnatum  ______  CR

  253. Platymiscium pleiostachyum  ______  CR

    enus PROSOPIS  (in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE) 

  254. Prosopis juliflora  (*)  ______  CR  DR  (in the Dominican Republic, a common mesquite in dry habitat)
    S: Bayahonda blanca


  255. Pterocarpus hayesii  ______  CR

  256. Pterocarpus offinalis  ______  CR  (TPCR:253)   occurs from Mexico to northern South America, also the West Indies
    S: Sangregado

    Pterocarpus offinalis
    grows up to 90 feet high and has large buttresses, and red sap, hence its English and Spanish names

    In Costa Rica, the Bloodwood Tree occurs in lowland wet forests with periodic flooding.
  257. Pterocarpus rohrii  ______  CR

    Genus SCHIZOLOBIUM   (
    was in CAEALPINIACEAE, now in subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE)) 

  258. Schizolobium parahybum  ______  CR  (TPCR:29)

    Genus SENNA  (
    was in CAESALPINIACEAE, now in subfamily CAESALPINIOIDEAE)

  259. Senna alata  ______  CR  (TPCR:92) 
    Candlestick Senna

  260. Senna bicapsularis  ______
    Christmas Bush 
    (or Yellow Candlewood)

    On the island of Bonaire, Senna bicapsularis can be particularly attractive for the butterflies Phoebis argante and Phoebis agarithe.  

  261. Senna biflora  ______  CR
    S: Abejon

  262. Senna emarginata  ______  CR

  263. Senna fruticosa  ______  CR

    Senna grandis  
    (in this list elsewhere as Cassia grandis)

  264. Senna pendula  (var. indecora) (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Retama

    Senna pendula, known as "Retama"
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  265. Senna papillosa  ______  CR

  266. Senna reticulata  ______  CR  (TPCR:91)
    S: Saragundi

  267. Senna surattensis  ______  (native to southeast Asia and Polynesia; has been planted in the Western Hemisphere, where it now grows wild)
    (bush with leaves pinnately divided)

    Another name for Senna surattensis is Scrambled Egg Tree.

    Genus SOPHORA

  268. Sophora tomentosa  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    (name in CY) 

    in the subfamily MIMOSOIDEAE) 

  269. Stryphnodendron excelsum  ______  CR

    Genus SWARTZIA  (

  270. Swartzia cubensis  ______  CR

  271. Swartzia simplex  ______  CR

    Genus TACHIGALIA  (

  272. Tachigalia versicolor  ______  CR


  273. Tamarindus indica  ______  CR  (TPCR:178)   probably from Africa, now in tropics and subtropics worldwide
    S: Tamarindo

    The Tamarind tree is tall, growing to a height of about 50 feet. On Caribbean islands, it is often planted as a wind-break to give protection during hurricanes and from strong winds.

    The ripe fruit of the Tamarind forms a small brown pod about 4 inches long. When mature the pod has a pulpy interior surrounding several large seeds.
    When still green, the fruit is slightly acidic and is used as a seasoning for fish and meat dishes.
    In the unripe state, it is added to curries.
    The ripe fruit is sometimes used to make a sugary sweet or candy which has a very spicy taste.
    The fruit can also be crushed to make a drink with a strong aromatic flavor, that can be refreshing.   


  274. Tephrosia purpurea  ______  DR

    In the Dominican Republic, Tephrosia purpurea is a food plant for the butterfly Strymon istapa, the Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak. 

  275. Tephrosia senna  ______  CY

    Genus ULEX

  276. Ulex europaeus  ______  CR  (TPCR:310)   originally from western Europe, in Costa Rica at and near Poas Volcano  
    S: Chucero

    Genus URIBEA

  277. Uribea tamarindoides  ______  CR

    Genus VIGNA

  278. Vigna unguiculata  ______  MX(YU)  (native to Africa, introduced in the New Worlds in the 17th Century)
    Black-eyed Pea
      (or Cowpea)
    S: Espelon, or Caupi    


  279. Willardia schiedeana  ______  CR

    Family FAGACEAE  (Beeches, Oaks)

    Genus QUERCUS  (Oaks)

  280. Quercus brenesii  ______  CR

  281. Quercus bumelioides  (*)  ______  CR  (was Quercus copeyensis)

    In Costa Rica, Quercus bumelioides mixes in with Quericus costaricensis (below).

  282. Quercus corrugata  ______  CR

  283. Quercus costaricensis  (*)  ______  CR
    a black oak
    S: Encino, Roble

    In Costa Rica, Quericus costaricensis is the principal species of oak in the highest forest. 

  284. Quercus guglielmi-treleasei  ______  CR

  285. Quercus insignus  ______  CR

  286. Quercus oleoides  ______  CR  (TPCR:272,273)
    S: Roble Encino

    Quercus oleoides
    is the only lowland oak in the American tropics. It ranges from Tamaulipas on the Gulf coast of Mexico south to Guanacaste in Costa Rica. 

    The acorns of Quercus oleoides are eaten by a variety of mammals, from squirrels to peccaries. White-headed Capuchin Monkeys gather them from the forest floor, taking them up into trees to eat.

  287. Quercus oocarpa  ______  CR

  288. Quercus pilarius  ______  CR

  289. Quercus seemannii  ______  CR

  290. Quercus skinneri  (*) (ph)  ______  GU   occurs in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador

    An Acorn and Leaves of the Oak, Quercus skinneri
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Family GENTIANACEAE  (Gentians)

    Genus EUSTOMA

  291. Eustoma exaltatum  ______  CY

    Genus VOYRIA

  292. Voyria parasitica  ______  CY

    Family GESNERIACEAE  (Gesnerias)


  293. Achimenes longiflora  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Flor de Pena  ("Rock Flower")   

    Achimenes longiflora, or "Rock Flower",
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

    Genus COLUMNEA

    are epiphytic. Most are hummingbird-pollinated.

  294. Columnea glabra  ______  CR  (TPCR:295)

  295. Columnea lepidocaulis  ______  CR  (TPCR:294)   perhaps endemic to Costa Rica
    Goldfish Plant
    S: Columnea

  296. Columnea magnifica  ______  CR  (TPCR:295)

    Genus DRYMONIA

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

  297. Drymonia conchocalyx  ______  CR  (TPCR:297)

  298. Drymonia rubra  ______  CR  (TPCR:296)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama

    Genus KOHLERIA

  299. Kohleria elegans  (ph)  ______  GU

    Kohleria elegans,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  300. Kohleria spicata  ______  CR  (TPCR:94)   occurs from Mexico to Ecuador


  301. Rhytidophyllum auriculatum  ______  DR

    Rhytidophyllum auriculatum is fed upon for its nectar by the Hispaniolan Emerald, Chlorostilbon swainsonii, a hummingbird endemic to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

    Family GOODENIACEAE  (Fan-flowers)

    Genus SCAEVOLA

  302. Scaevola plumieri  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)
    Bay Balsam 
    (name in CY)



    Many species in ESCALLONIA are in the high Andes of South America.

  303. Escallonia myrtilloides  ______  CR  (TPCR:311)   occurs from Costa Rica to South America
    S: Cipresillo

  304. Escallonia paniculata  ______  CR   

    Escallonia paniculata is less common in Costa Rica than Escallonia myrtilloides.


    Genus GUNNERA

    Sometimes plants in the GUNNERA genus are said to be in the family HALORAGACEAE.

  305. Gunnera insignis  ______  CR  (TPCR:311,312)   occurs from Nicaragua to Colombia
    Poor Man's Umbrella
    S: Sombrilla de Pobre

    In Costa Rica, the Poor Man's Umbrella in wet forests on all of the major mountain ranges, from 3,000 to 7,800 feet above sea level. It is often on steep landslides and exposed ridges.  

  306. Gunnera talamancana  ______  CR

    Gunnera talamancana
    is a smaller species than Gunnera insignis. It occurs at higher elevations in Costa Rica.    

    Family JUGLANDACEAE  (Walnuts)

    Genus ALFAROA

  307. Alfaroa costaricensis  ______  CR

  308. Alfaroa williamsii  ______  CR

    Genus CARYA

  309. Carya illinoinensis  ______  MX

    Family LAMIACEAE, or LABIATAE  (Mints)

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

    Genus MENTHA

  310. Mentha spicata  ______  MX(YU)
    (or Spearmint)
    S: Hierbabuena,
    or Yerbabuena

    Genus OCIMUM

  311. Ocimum micranthum (or campechianum ______  CY
    Amazonian Basil
    Pimento Basil
      (name in CY)
    S: Alfavaca de campo

    Other names for Ocimum micranthum (or campechianum) include Wild Sweet Basil, Peruvian Basil, Spice Basil, and Wild Mosquito Plant.


  312. Plectranthus amboinicus  ______  MX(YU)  (native to eastern Africa, now in the Yucatan of Mexico)
    Cuban Oregano 
    (or Spanish Thyme, or Mexican Thyme, or Indian Borage)
    S: Oreganon, or Oregano Orejon, or Oregano Cubano

    Genus SALVIA

  313. Salvia caymanensis  ______  CY  (endemic to Grand Cayman Island) (critically endangered)

  314. Salvia elegans  ______  (native to Mexico and Guatemala)  
    Pineapple Sage

    Another name for Salvia elegans is Tangerine Sage. 

    In its native range, Salvia elegans is in Mesoamerican Pine-oak forests from 6,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level.

    A Calliope Hummingbird feeding at Pineapple Sage.
    The plant is a favorite of hummingbirds both where it is native and planted.

  315. Salvia montecristiana  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, only in the Morro of Monte Cristi)  

  316. Salvia wagneriana  ______  GU

    Salvia wagneriana
    grows four or five feet high, and its colors are very striking against green shrubbery. 
    Its pinkish-red flowers are large and as attractive in bud as when open, since they emerge from large bronze bracts, which fall as the flower opens.   

    Genus TECTONA

  317. Tectona grandis  ______  (native to southern Asia, from India to Thailand)
    (a tree with simple, opposite leaves)
    S: Teca   

    Family LAURACEAE  (Laurels)

    There are about 130 LAURACEAE species in Costa Rica. Many of the trees in this family produce small to medium-sized  fruits that are critical to the survival of a special bird, the Resplendent Quetzal, whose altitudinal movements relate to which species of LAURACEAE are fruiting when and where.
    Not only quetzals, but also toucans, Three-wattled Bellbirds, and Black Guans eat the fruits and disperse the seeds.

    Genus AIOUEA

  318. Aioucea costaricensis  ______  CR


  319. Beilschmiedia costaricense  ______  CR

  320. Beilschmiedia mexicana  ______  CR

    Genus CASSYTHA

  321. Cassytha filiformis  ______  CY
    (name in CY)


  322. Cinnamomum aromaticum  ______  MX(YU)
    Cassia Cinnamon 
    S: Canela

    Cinnamomum aromaticum is the "cinnamon" used in the United States.
    It has a thick, hard bark with a strong and pungent aroma, but is generally considered a "poor relation" to the Ceylon Cinnamon (below).
    (from the book "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)  

  323. Cinnamomum verum  ______  MX(YU)  (native to Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon)
    Ceylon Cinnamon
    S: Canela


  324. Cryptocarya aschersoniana  ______  BR
    P: Canela Batalha

    that feed on the fruits of Cryptocarya aschersoniana include: bellbirds, thrushes, the Kiskadee, guans, tanagers, euphonias, and others.   

    Genus LICARIA

  325. Licaria triandra  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)


  326. Nectandra davidsoniana  ______  CR

  327. Nectandra gentlei  ______  CR

  328. Nectandra reticulata  ______  CR

  329. Nectandra salicina  ______  CR

  330. Nectrandra smithii  ______  CR

    Genus OCOTEA

    Some of the following in this OCOTEA genus of wild avocados are host plants for the Sphinx moth, Adhemarius ypsilon, notably: Ocotea atirrhensis, Ocotea dendrodaphne, Ocotea nicaraguensis, Ocotea veraguensis.

  331. Ocotea atirrhensis  ______  CR

  332. Ocotea austinii  ______  CR

  333. Ocotea bernoulliana  ______  CR

  334. Ocotea cernua  ______  CR

  335. Ocotea cooperi  ______  CR

  336. Ocotea coriacea  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies) (vulnerable in CY)
    (name in CY)

  337. Ocotea dendrodaphne  ______  CR

  338. Ocotea endresiana  ______  CR

  339. Ocotea ira  ______  CR

  340. Ocotea mollifolia  ______  CR

  341. Ocotea nicaraguensis  ______  CR

  342. Ocotea pedalifolia  ______  CR

  343. Ocotea stenoneura  ______  CR

  344. Ocotea tenera  ______  CR  (TPCR:299)   in Costa Rica, in lower forest, and sometimes in Caribbean lowland forest

  345. Ocotea tonduzii  (*)  ______  CR   in Costa Rica, in the lower cloud forest

    Nearly 20 species of birds consume the fruits of Ocotea tonduzii, including the Resplendent Quetzal (below).

    Wild relatives of the Avocado (in the Ocotea genus) 
    are the favored foods of the Resplendent Quetzal
    in Central America.

    During FONT tours in Costa Rica, Guatemala,
    Honduras, and Panama, we've watched the birds 
    eating such fruits.

  346. Ocotea veraguensis  ______  CR

  347. Ocotea wachenheimii  ______  CR 

    Genus PERSEA

  348. Persea americana  (*)  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:180)   originally from Mexico to Colombia, now cultivated elsewhere
    (or Alligator Pear)
    S: Aguacate

    The tree Persea americana attains a height of about 30 feet and has dark green, shiny foliage and clusters of small, inconspicuous flowers, which are light green in color.
    It is not an easy tree to identify except for its characteristic fruit which, because of its shape, is sometimes called an "avocado pear". But, in fact, wild avocados vary enormously in their shape.  

    In the Yucatan region of Mexico, the most consumed variety of the Avocado is a large pear-shaped fruit about 6-7 inches in length, with thin, smooth, dark green skin. The flesh is soft with a pale green to yellow color lightening toward the center, where one large seed is located.

    The Avocado is one of the earliest domesticated trees in the Neotropics. In the Mayan region, there is evidence of the consumption of varieties of Avocado cultivated in family orchards since at least 3,400 years ago.
    The primary growing season for Avocados in the Yucatan is from July to October, although they do grow year-round.

    Mainly, the consumption of the Avocado in the Yucatan is sliced, as a plate garnish or as a topping for tacos.
    Its most famous use must surely be in the preparation of guacamole, the recipe variants for which are almost infinite. 
    The word "guacamole" is derived from the Nahuatl: "abuacatl" = avocado, and "molli" = sauce.
    (from the book "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)  

    The Avocado, when either mashed into guacamole, added to soups, or just eaten with a little lemon and salt, is a very good source of vitamins A, B, and E.
    The textured flesh of the Avocado is up to 30 per cent oil, rich in oleic acid. 

  349. Persea caerulea  ______  CR

  350. Persea schiedeana  ______  CR

    Genus PHOEBE

  351. Phoebe mexicana  ______  CR

  352. Phoebe neurophylla  ______  CR

  353. Phoebe valeriana  ______  CR

    Family LECYTHIDACEAE  (Brazil Nut plants)


  354. Bertholletia exselsa  (*)  ______  BR
    Brazil Nut Tree 

    Brazil Nut Trees
    are large, very large, growing up to 130 feet in height, rising solitarily well above the canopy of the both terra firme and flood plain (varzea) forests.
    The fruit of the tree is like a huge, heavy cannon ball (to 4.5 pounds), and almost as hard.
    When it falls during the fruiting season, one does not want to underneath.
    Inside that "cannon ball", the 15 to 20 large seeds are extracted only with considerable effort - even when done by a person with a machete.
    Rodents, such as Agoutis, however, on the forest floor can, with persistent gnawing, get to the delicious seeds inside.
    As each seed is 70 per cent fat, the rodent is full after eating one or two. The uneaten seeds are then taken and buried in a cache for another day.
    The pollination of Bertholletia exselsa is done by Orchid Bees, which must find alternate sources of nectar during the 11 months when the tree is not in flower.

    The name of the country, Brazil, is from the French word bresil, which originally referred to the reddish color dye that was traditionally extracted from the Brazil Nut.

    During FONT tours in Brazilian Amazon forests, Brazil Nuts have been found on the ground, but never did one fall on any of us as we were birding in the forest. 


    Eating, a  Brazilian Agouti, photographed during a FONT tour
    (photo by Marie Gardner)             


  355. Cariniana pyriformis  ______  CR


  356. Couratari panamensis  ______  CR 


  357. Couropita guianensis  ______  PN  (native to Panama and northern South America, cultivated elsewhere)
    Cannonball Tree 
    (with simple, alternating leaves)
    S: Bala de Canon, or Coco del Mono, or Taparon

    Couropita guianensis has red and pink flowers.

    Couropita guianensis
    is cultivated more than Couropita nicaraguarensis (below). 

  358. Couropita nicaraguarensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:275)   occurs in parts of El Salvador. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
    Cannonball Tree
    S: Zapote de Concha, or Zapote de Mico, or Bala de Canon

    Couripita nicaraguarensis
    is rare in Costa Rica. It is found in Guanacaste at Palo Verde and the Lomas Barbudal reserve.   


  359. Eschweilera calyculata  ______  CR

    Genus GRIAS

  360. Grias fendleri  ______  CR 

    Genus GUSTAVIA

  361. Gustavia augusta  ______  (originally grew in northern South America)
    (with simple, alternating leaves)
    P: Geniparana
    S: Guatoso,
    or Matamata 

  362. Gustavia brachycarpa  ______  CR

    Genus LECYTHIS

  363. Lecythis ampla  ______  CR

  364. Lecythis costaricensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:242)
    Monkey Pot Tree
    S: Jicaro,
    or Olla de Mono

    The "Monkey Pot" name refers to monkeys grasping a seed in the pyxidium and then being unable to extract the closed hand. So the empty pyxidium (that is the "monkey pot") is supposedly used with bait to catch monkeys. 

  365. Lecythis minor  ______  CR

    Family LILIACEAE  (Lilies)


    Flowers in CALOCHORTUS are the Mariposa Lilies with open wedge-shaped petals, the Globe Lilies and Fairy Lanterns with globe-shaped flowers, and Cats-ears and Star Tulips with erect pointed petals.
    The word CALOCHORTUS is from Greek and means "beautiful grass".

    There are approximately 70 species in the CALOCHORTUS genus, mostly in the western United States. But there are a few species found throughout Mexico, and 1 in Guatemala (noted below)

    The photo below, representative of the Mariposa Lilies, was taken in the western US. It is Calochortus gunnisonii.

    A Mariposa Lily   (photo by Sally Brady)  

  366. Colochortus ghiesbreghtii  ______  GU  MX


  367. Hymenocallis latifolia  ______  CY 
    Spider Lily

    Hymenocallis latifolia
    was previously placed in the Amaryllis family, AMARYLLIDACEAE.

    Family LORANTHACEAE  (Mistletoes)

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


  368. Dendropemon caymanensis  ______  CY  (endemic to Little Cayman Island) (critically endangered)


  369. Gaiadendron poasense  ______  CR


    species are among the various sources of nectar for the Amazilia Hummingbird, Amazilia amazilia, in South America, and the Cinnamon Hummingbird. Amazilia rutila, in Central America.  

    There are 9 species of PSITTACANTHUS.

  370. Psittacanthus calyculatus  (ph)  ______  GU
    S: Liga,
    or Matapalo   


    Psittacanthus calyculatus, in the Mistletoe family,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  371. Psittacanthus schiedeanus  ______  CR  (TPCR:314)   occurs from Mexico to Panama
    a mistletoe
    S: Matapalo

    Among trees on which Psittacanthus schiedeanus grows are oaks, in the family FAGACEAE.

    Family LYTHRACEAE  (Loosestrifes)

    Genus AMMANIA

  372. Ammania latifolia  ______  CY


  373. Lagerstroemia speciosa  ______  CR  (TPCR:35)  (native to Asia in India and China)
    Queen's Crape Myrtle, or Pride of India

    Genus PUNICA

  374. Punica granatum  ______  (grows on some Caribbean islands) 
      (bush with simple, opposite leaves)
    S: Granado

    Pomegranate fruits
    grow on a medium-sized tree, about 20 feet in height, with characteristically spiny branches.
    The flowers are reddish, sometimes even scarlet in color, and they have crinkly, paper-like petals.
    The fruit is round in shape and about the size of an orange. It has a thick, smooth, leathery skin which turns yellow-red when the fruit is ripe.
    The pulp inside is very juicy and contains a mass of small, white seeds.
    The peel of the fruit is rich in tannins which can be used to produce high quality leather. 

    Pomegranate is usually eaten raw, but sometimes the juice is used to make a drink called grenadine.

    Family MAGNOLIACEAE  (Magnolias)

    Genus MAGNOLIA

  375. Magnolia harmori  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola) (a threatened species)
    Bahoruco Magnolia

    S: Ebano de Bahoruco, or Caimoni 

    In the Dominican Republic, Magnolia harmori occurs in the areas of Barahona and the cloud forests of Bahoruco Oriental.   

  376. Magnolia pallescens  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola)
    Pale Magnolia
      (or Hispaniolan Green Ebony)
    S: Ebano Verde

    In the Dominican Republic, Magnolia pallescens occurs in the Cordillera Central, where there is a scientific reserve established to protect it. 

  377. Magnolia poasana  ______  CR

    Genus TALAUMA

  378. Talauma sambuensis  ______  CR  


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


  379. Banisteriopsis caapi  ______   

    Banisteriopsis caapi
    is used by native people in South America as a hallucinogen in ceremonies.


  380. Bunchosia biocellata  ______  CR

  381. Bunchosia macrophylla  ______  CR

  382. Bunchosia media  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)

  383. Bunchosia pilosa  ______  CR

  384. Bunchosia swartziana  ______  CR

  385. Bunchosia ternata  ______  CR


  386. Byrsonima aerugo  ______  CR

  387. Byrsonima basiloba  ______  BR
    P: Murici

    that feed on the fruits of Byrsonima basiloba and other plants in that genus include: curassows, the Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, and the Spot-winged Wood-Quail.  

  388. Byrsonima crassifolia  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:53,54)   occurs from Mexico to Paraguay, also in the West Indies
    or Shoemaker's Tree
    S: Nance, or Nancite,
    or Nancen, or Nanche 

    Other English names for Byrsonima crassifolia are Golden Spoon, Murici, or Sour Murici.  

  389. Byrsonima crispa  ______ BR

  390. Byrsonima lucida  ______   occurs in the West Indies, and Florida in the US

  391. Byrsonima myrifolia  ______  BR

  392. Byrsonima verbascifolia  ______  BR


  393. Malpighia cubensis  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Lady Hair 
    (name in CY)

  394. Malpighia emarginata  ______  (originally grew on Caribbean islands, and in northern South America)
    Barbados Cherry 
    (bush with simple, opposite leaves)
    S: Acerola,
    or Escobillo, or Grosella, or Semeruco 

    The Barbados Cherry is a small tree, often pruned back and used for making ornamental hedges in gardens. 
    The fruit grows to about the size of an ordinary cherry. Its color varies at different stages in its development starting as a dull orange and then gradually darkening to a reddish-brown when mature.

    An interesting feature of the Barbados Cherry is its very high ascorbic acid (vitamin C) content. Weight for weight, it is much richer in this specific nutritional aspect than most citrus fruits. It is also said that its vitamin C is destroyed less easily by cooking than is the case with other fruits.
    The fruit is seldom eaten raw as its taste to too sharp for comfort, and so its is used in puddings, or made into jam, jelly and other preserves. 

  395. Malpighia glabra  ______  CR

  396. Malpighia lundellii  ______  CR


  397. Tetrapteris schiedeana  ______  CR  

    Family MALVACEAE  (Mallows)   

    includes here what was the family BOMBACACEAE, the COTTON TREE PLANTS,
    now the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE 

    also included here is TILIACEAE
    (the genus CORCHORUS)

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

    Genus ABUTILON

  398. Abutilon megapotamicum  ______  (originally grew in southern Brazil)
    Trailing Abutilon 
    (bush with simple, alternating leaves)
    P: Lanterna Japonesa

    Abutilon megapotamicum
    can be attractive to feeding hummingbirds. 


  399. Bastardia viscosa  ______  CY

    Genus BOMBAX

  400. Bombax ceiba  ______  BR
    Red Cotton Tree
    P: Bombax

    Bombax ceiba
    is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE.

    When in bloom, Bombax ceiba can be especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds. 


  401. Cavanillesia platanifolia  ______  (occurs from Panama to Ecuador)
    Cuipo Tree
    S: Hameli, or Macondo

    Cavanillesia platanifolia
    is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE. 

    Cuipo Trees
    can be big, attaining a height of 200 feet.
    But, its wood is among the softest of any tree.

    The large, and distinctive Cuipo Tree has been seen during FONT tours in eastern Panama, and especially in Darien.  

    Genus CEIBA

  402. Ceiba pentandra  (*)  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:41,42,43)  (native to Central and South America)
    Kapok Tree 
    (with leaves palmately divided)
    S: Ceiba

    Other names for Ceiba pentandra include Giant Kapok, or Ceiba Tree. 

    Ceiba pentandra
    is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE. 

  403. Ceiba speciosa  (was Chorisia speciosa ______  (native to southern Brazil and northern Argentina)
    Floss Silk Tree 
    (tree with leaves palmately divided)
    S: Ceiba del Brasil 

    Ceiba speciosa
    is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE.


  404. Chiranthodendron pentadactylon  (ph)  ______  GU
    (or Devil's Monkey Hand Tree, or Mexican Hand Tree)
    S: Arbol de las Manitas

    Other names for Chiranthodendron pentadactylon include Little Hand Flower Tree and Little Tiger's Foot.

    As indicated with the names above, the flower of Chiranthodendron pentadactylon bears a striking resemblance to an open human hand. Guatemalans liken it to a tiger's foot.
    The species is native to Guatemala and southern Mexico. On wet slopes in that area, the tree may reach a height of 35 to 90 feet. It blooms most of the year, and the blossoms can be collected from the ground.

    Years ago, the Mexican botanist Maximino Martinez wrote that for a long time a single Mexican Hand Tree grew in a neighborhood of Toluca, where it was venerated by the Indians. They believed that it was the only one of its kind in the world and that the gods had willed that none other should ever exist.   

    Chiranthodendron pentadactylon,
    the Devil's Monkey Hand Tree, or Hand-flower,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"  

    Genus CHORISIA

  405. Chorisia speciosa  ______  BR
    P: Paineira Rosa

    Chorisia speciosa is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE. Its flowers can be especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds.


  406. Corchorus hirsutus  ______  CY

    Genus DOMBEYA

  407. Dombeya wallichii  ______  BR
    Pink Ball Tree

    Dombeya wallichii
    is a favored food source for the hummingbird, the Black Jacobin, Florisuga fusca.   


  408. Eriotheca candolleana  ______  BR
    P: Embirucuzinho

    Eriotheca candolleana
    is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE.


  409. Gossypium hirsutum  ______  CR
    American Upland Cotton

  410. Gossypium barbadense  ______
    Sea Island Cotton

  411. Gossypium peruvianum  ______  CR  (originally grew in the Western Hemisphere, in Peru)  
    Pima Cotton 
    (or Peruvian Cotton)
    S: Algodon del Pais

    Historians believe that Pima Cotton was used in Peru 10,000 years ago. If so, it would be one of the oldest known cultural plants in the world.
    4 of the approximately 40 Gossypium species are used for cotton.

    Another name for Gossypium barbdense is Egyptian Cotton, even though the plant originated, as noted above, in the Western Hemisphere. 

    Genus GUAZUMA

  412. Guazuma ulmifolia  ______  CR
    S: Guacima

    Guazuma ulmifolia
    is fed upon by the butterfly Adelpha iphiclus, the Iphiclus Sister.  

    Genus HAMPEA

  413. Hampea appendiculata  ______  CR  (TPCR:55)
    Doll's Eyes
    S: Burio

    Genus HIBISCUS  (Rose Mallows)  

    Worldwide, there are more than 200 species of HIBISCUS, and thousands of hybrids including red, white, and peach-colored cultivars.

  414. Hibiscus esculentus  ______

    is also known as Gumbo. It is used as a vegetable in many Caribbean dishes.

  415. Hibiscus pernambucensis  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:339)   occurs from Mexico to Ecuador  (endangered in CY)
    Seaside Mahoe 
    S: Majagua

  416. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis  (*) (ph)  ______  CR  DR  (TPCR:140,141)

    Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
    originated in tropical Asia. Now, in the American tropics and on Caribbean islands it is a popular exotic plant.  

    In the Dominican Republic, Hisbiscus rosasinensis is a food plant for the butterflies: Battus polydamas, the Gold Rim Swallowtail. Papilio androgeus, the Androgeus Swallowtail, Anetia pantherata, the Great King.

    Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, with a hummingbird feeding at the flower.
    The hummingbird here is an Antillean Mango.
    (photo by Rob Van Brussel)

  417. Hibiscus sabdariffa  ______

  418. Hibiscus schizopetalus  ______  CR  (TPCR:141)

  419. Hibiscus tilaceus  ______  CR
    Coast Hibiscus 
    (a bush with simple, alternating leaves)


  420. Kosteletzkya pentasperma  ______  CY

    Genus LUEHEA

  421. Luehea candida  ______  CR
    S: Guacimo Molenillo,
    or Molenillo


  422. Malvastrum corchorifolium  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies)


  423. Malvaviscus arboreus  (ph)  ______  CR  CY  GU  (has spread from the southern US into South America)
    Sleeping Hibiscus,
    or Turk's cap  (a bush with simple, alternating leaves)
    (name in CY)
    S: Amapola, or Monacillo, or Tulipipancillo

    Malvaviscus arboreus
    is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds and butterflies. Its flowers do not open fully.

    Malvaviscus arboreus, the Sleeping Hibiscus,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala"

  424. Malvaviscus pendidiflorus  ______  CR  (TPCR:142)
    Turk's Cap

    Genus OCHROMA

  425. Ochroma pyramidale  ______  CR  (TPCR:44)   (native to tropical America)
    Balsa Tree
    S: Balsa

    Genus PACHIRA

  426. Pachira aquatica  ______  CR  (TPCR:252)  (originally grew in South America)
    Guiana Chestnut 
    (a tree with leaves palmately divided) 
    S: Amapola, or Castano de Agua, or Zapote de Agua, or Palo de Boya 

    Pachira aquatica
    is in the subfamily BOMBACOIDEAE. Other names for it are Provision Tree, and in Spanish: Jelinjoche (in Costa Rica).


  427. Robinsonella cordata  ______  GU

    Robinsonella cordata is a small tree. When in full bloom, it is an astonishing sight. The pale blue, contrasting with the surrounding greens and browns, has a shimmering lightness of silver.
    It grows over a widespread area in southern Mexico and Guatemala, but apparently not abundantly.    

    Genus SIDA

  428. Sida ciliaris  ______  CY


  429. Thespesia populnea  ______  CY
    (name in CY)

    Genus URENA

  430. Urena lobata  ______  DR
    Ceasar's Weed

    In the Dominican Republic, Urena lobata is a food plant for the butterfly Anartia lytrea, the Goddard's Anartia. 

    Genus WERCKLEA

  431. Wercklea insignis  ______  CR

    Family MARANTACEAE  (Arrowroot, or Prayer-plant family)

    Among the Lepidoptera species that feed on plants in MARANTACEAE is the nymphalid butterfly Opsiphanes tamarindi. the Heliconia Owlet.  

    Genus CALATHEA

    CALATHEA flowers are favored food for the hummingbird, the Band-tailed Barbthroat. The hummingbird pierces the base of the plant's corolla.

    There are more than 3 dozen CALATHEA species in Costa Rica. More than one of them are called "Rattlesnake Plant".

  432. Calathea crotaliifera  ______  CR  (TPCR:97)   occurs from Mexico to Ecuador
    Rattlesnake Plant
    S: Bijagua   

  433. Calathea insignis  ______  CR 
    Rattlesnake Plant
    S: Hoja Negra, or Hoja de Sal, or Bijagua 

  434. Calathea lutea  ______  CR  (TPCR:98)   occurs from Mexico to South America
    S: Bijagua, or Hoja Blanca

    Calathea lutea is a host plant for the butterfly Opsiphanes bogotanus, the Bogota Owl Butterfly.

    Genus MARANTA

  435. Maranta arundinacea  ______   (grows in the wild in Central America and northern South America) 
    (an herbaceous perennial plant) 

    is cultivated in a large scale on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent.

    True arrowroot is the starch obtained from the rhizome or underground stem. It was used, it is said, to treat skin wounds caused by poison arrows.
    Now, it is also used for the starching of clothes, and the thickening of soups, puddings, and various sauces, as well as being an ingredient in face powders and glues.     

    Genus MANETTIA

    The tubular flowers of MANETTIA species are a favored food of the hummingbird, the Straight-billed Hermit.

    Family MELASTOMATACEAE  (Melastomes)

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, there are about 175 described species in MELASTOMATACEAE.


  436. Centronia phlomoides  ______  CR


  437. Conostegia formosa  ______  CR

  438. Conostegia hirtella  ______  CR

  439. Conostegia macrantha  ______  CR

  440. Conostegia oerstediana  ______  CR  (TPCR:56)

    In Costa Rica, Conostegia oerstediana replaces Conostegia xalapensis (below) at elevations higher than about 4,350 feet above sea level. 

  441. Conostegia pittieri  ______  CR

  442. Conostegia volcanicola  ______  CR

  443. Conostegia xalapensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:56)   occurs from southern Mexico to northern South America
    S: Lengua de Gato


  444. Graffenrieda micrantha  ______  CR


  445. Henriettella tuberculosa  ______  CR

    Genus MICONIA

    There are about 1,000 species of MICONIA in the Neotropics, with nearly 100 species in Costa Rica. 

  446. Miconia affinis  ______  CR

  447. Miconia appendiculata  ______  CR

  448. Miconia argentea  ______  CR  (TPCR:57)
    S: Maria

  449. Miconia bipulifera  ______  CR

  450. Miconia brenesii  ______  CR

  451. Miconia calvescens  ______  CR

  452. Miconia centrodesma  ______  CR

  453. Miconia costaricensis  ______  CR

  454. Miconia elata  ______  CR

  455. Miconia flavida  ______  CR

  456. Miconia glaberrima  ______  CR

  457. Miconia gracilis  ______  CR

  458. Miconia serrulata  ______  CR

  459. Miconia tonduzii  ______  CR


  460. Monochaetum vulcanicum  ______  CR  (TPCR:315)   endemic to Costa Rica
    Melastoma of the Volcanoes
    S: Escoba Real, Milflores

    Genus MOURIRI

  461. Mouriri parvifolia  ______  CR  


  462. Tibouchina urvilleana  ______  (originally grew in Brazil)
    Glory Bush 
    (with simple, opposite leaves)

    Genus TOPOBEA

  463. Topobea brenesii  ______  CR

    Family MELIACEAE  (Mahogany)

    MELIACEAE is a family long famous for its cabinet-quality woods, and its stubborn taxonomic problems.  

    Genus CARAPA

  464. Carapa guianensis  ______  CR
    S: Cedro Macho, or Caobilla

    Genus CEDRELA

  465. Cedrela mexicana  ______  CR

  466. Cedrela odorata  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:58)   occurs from Mexico to South America, and the West Indies 
    Spanish Cedar
    (name in CY)
    S: Cedro Amargo

    On the Cayman Islands, Cedrela odorata is critically endangered.

  467. Cedrela salvadorensis  ______  CR   a rare plant, it occurs in Costa Rica at low to middle elevations 

  468. Cedrela tonduzii  ______  CR  (TPCR:59)   occurs in Costa Rica at higher elevations

    Genus GUAREA

  469. Guarea brevianthera  ______  CR

  470. Guarea bullata  ______  CR

  471. Guarea chichon  ______  CR

  472. Guarea excelsa  ______  CR

  473. Guarea glabra  ______  CR

  474. Guarea microcarpa  ______  CR

  475. Guarea rhopalocarpa  ______  CR

  476. Guarea tonduzii  ______  CR

  477. Guarea trichiloides  ______  CR

  478. Guarea tuisana  ______  CR

    Genus RUAGEA

  479. Ruagea caoba  ______  CR


  480. Swietenia macrophylla  ______  CR  (ranges from the Gulf coast of Mexico to Amazonian Bolivia)
    Big-leaf Mahogany
    S: Caoba

  481. Swietenia mahagoni  ______  CY  (endemic to the West Indies) (endangered in CY)

  482. Swietenia humilis  ______  CR
    Pacific Coast Mahogany
    S: Caoba

    Less known commercially than Swietenia macrophylla (above), Swietenia humilis occurs in a narrow band along the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America. There is also a small disjunct population near Lake Izabal in eastern Guatemala.
    The native ranges of both Swietenia macrophylla and Swietenia humilis join in northwestern Costa Rica in Guanacaste and adjacent Puntarenas, where hybridization apparently occurs. 
    Mahogany is absent from most or all of the rest of Costa Rica.   

    Genus TRICHILIA 

  483. Trichilia colimana  ______  CR

  484. Trichilia cuneata  ______  CR

  485. Trichilia glabra  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)

  486. Trichilia havanensis  ______  CR  CY  (TPCR:59)   occurs from Mexico to northern South America  
    S: Uruca

    On the Cayman Islands, Trichilia havanensis is critically endangered. 
    In Costa Rica, however, it is one of the most popular street trees in the capital city of San Jose. 

  487. Trichilia hirta  ______  CR

  488. Trichilia moritzii  ______  CR

  489. Trichilia trifolia  ______  CR



  490. Cissampelos pareira  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)
    (name in CY)


  491. Hyperbaena tonduzii  ______  CR

    Family MORACEAE  (Mulberry plants)


  492. Artocarpus artilis  ______  CR  (TPCR:145)   native to Malaysia, introduced in the West Indies and elsewhere in tropical America
    (a tree with simple, alternating leaves) 
    S: Arbol de Pan 

    In Costa Rica, Breadfruit is more popular on the Caribbean side, where it is grown for food or as an ornamental shade tree.  

    The Saint Vincent Botanical Garden (that we have visited during all FONT tours on that island) boasts a specimen of Artocarpus artilis that is claimed to have been grown from a sucker of one of Captain Bligh's original breadfruit trees, brought from the South Pacific to the Caribbean in 1793. 

  493. Artocarpus heterophyllus  ______  (native to Malaysia)


  494. Batocarpus costaricensis  ______  CR

    Genus BROSIMUM

    Plants in BROSIMUM, such as the Milk Tree, Brosimum utile, are host plants for the butterfly Marpesia merops, the Spot-banded Daggerwing. 

  495. Brosimum alicastrum  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:276)  occurs in Mexico and Central America, and on some Caribbean islands  
    Bread Nut 
    (or Mayan Nut)
    S: Ramon,
    or Ojite, or Capomo, or Ojoche (in Costa Rica)

    Although it is not found in the food markets in the Yucatan of Mexico, the Bread Nut, or Ramon, has an important history in the region.
    Brosimum alicastrum is a large, leafy evergreen tree in the same family as the mulberry and the fig.
    It is naturally distributed throughout Mesoamerica, into Central America, and as far south as Brazil.
    In addition to having lush foliage that is used as fodder for horses and cattle, Ramon produces a small yellow fruit - about an inch in diameter - inside of which is a thin layer of sweet pulp that forest animals love. At the core is a large edible seed that is highly nutritious,
    While it is debated whether Ramon was a staple or a "famine food" among the ancient, there is no disagreement that the Ramon seed was consumed in March and April, a time of year during which corn had yet to be planted but the Ramon was giving fruit.
    Ramon has been, and continues to be a quintessentially Mayan foodstuff.   
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)        

    Brosimum alicastrum
    is a host plant for the butterfly Marpesia chiron, the Many-banded Daggerwing.

  496. Brosimum costaricanum  ______  CR

  497. Brosimum guianense  ______  CR

  498. Brosimum lactescens  ______  CR 

  499. Brosimum utile  (*)  ______  CR
    Milk Tree
    S: Baco, or Mastate

    Brosimum utile
    is the famous "Cow Tree", in Spanish "Palo de Vaca", as it, and other species in is genus, produce copious white latex that is more or less drinkable.
    Brosimum utile also has useful wood and edible fruit.

    The "Cow Tree", or "Palo de Vaca" was discovered in Venezuela at the beginning of the 19th Century by Alexander von Humboldt. He wrote a description of its use of its latex.
    The species ranges from the Amazon basin north through Colombia to southwestern Costa Rica, where it is restricted to the tropical wet life zone in the Pacific lowlands.
    In Corcovado National Park, in that part of southwestern Costa Rica, Brosimum utile is one of the most abundant canopy trees on well-drained slopes and ridges, attaining a height of 165 feet and having a diameter of up to near 5 feet.     

    During one of the early FONT Costa Rica Tours in a rain forest on the Osa Peninsula at the back edge of Corcovado, a memorable moment was when our local guide, who we called "Freddie with the Machete", used his machete on the trunk of a Milk Tree and we watched the latex flow.
    Nearby, on the ground below, there were Jaguar tracks. High up in the trees above, there were the loud raucous calls of Scarlet Macaws.

    Genus CASTILLA

  500. Castilla elastica  ______  CR
    Panama Rubber Tree

  501. Castilla tuna  ______  CR 


  502. Chlorophora tinctoria  ______  CR

    Genus CLARISIA

  503. Clarisia biflora  ______  CR

  504. Clarisia mexicana  ______  CR

    Clarisia mexicana
    is a host plant for the butterflies Marpesia chiron, the Many-banded Daggerwing and Marpesia berania, the Orange Daggerwing.

    Genus FICUS

  505. Ficus aurea  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman islands) (vulnerable in CY)
    Wild Fig 
    (name in CY)

  506. Ficus brevibracteata  ______  CR

  507. Ficus citrifolia  ______  CY  (endangered in CY)
    Barren Fig 
    (name in CY) 

  508. Ficus dugandi  ______  CR

  509. Ficus glabrata  ______  CR

  510. Ficus goldmanii  ______  CR

  511. Ficus harwegii  ______  CR

  512. Ficus insipida  (was Ficus crassiuscula (*)  ______  BR  CR
    Strangler Fig

  513. Ficus macbridei  ______  CR

  514. Ficus maxima  ______  CR

  515. Ficus ovalis  ______  CR

  516. Ficus schippii ______  CR

  517. Ficus tonduzii  ______  CR

  518. Ficus tuerckheimii  ______  CR

  519. Ficus turrialbana  ______  CR

  520. Ficus velutina  ______  CR

  521. Ficus yoponensis  ______  CR

  522. Ficus sp.  ______  CR  DR  (TPCR:60)
    S: Higo

    Genus MACLURA

  523. Maclura tinctoria  ______  CR  CY  (critically endangered in CY)  
    (name in CY)

    Maclura tinctoria
    is a host plant for the butterfly Marpesia chiron, the Many-banded Daggerwing.

    Genus MAQUIRA

  524. Maquira costaricana  ______  CR


  525. Naucleopsis naga  ______  CR

    Genus PEREBEA

  526. Perebea angustifolia  ______  CR


  527. Poulsenia armata  ______  CR

    Genus POUROUMA

  528. Pourouma aspera  ______  CR

  529. Pourouma minor  ______  CR


  530. Pseudolmedia oxyphyllaria  ______  CR

    Genus SOROCEA

  531. Sorocea cufodontisii  ______  CR

  532. Sorocea pubivena  ______  CR

  533. Sorocea trophoides  ______  CR

    Genus TROPHIS

  534. Trophis involucrata  ______  CR

    Trophis involucrata
    is a host plant for the butterfly Marpesia berania, the Orange Daggerwing.

    An Orange Daggerwing
    , photographed during a FONT tour
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  535. Trophis racemosa  ______  CR

    Family MUSACEAE  (Banana Plants, Heliconias)


    species can be an especially good food source for certain hummingbirds. 
    With their deep flowers, the plants in this genus are favored by the White-tipped Sicklebill and the Buff-tailed Sicklebill, the hummingbirds with the most strongly curved bills.    
    Other hummingbirds that frequent HELICONIAS include: Bronzy Hermit, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Long-tailed Hermit, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Sooty Barbthroat, Pale-bellied Hermit, Violet Sabrewing, Gray-breasted Sabrewing.
    A special relationship between two species of HELICONIAS and a hummingbird in the Caribbean (the Purple-throated Carib) is referred to below.

    A White-tipped Sicklebill feeding at Heliconia.
    This unusual hummingbird has been seen at such plants
    during FONT tours in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.  

    A number of Lepidoptra species feed on HELICONIA, including the butterfly Opsiphanes tamarindi, the Heliconia Owlet.

  536. Heliconia bihai  (*) (ph)  ______  BR  CR  DR  GU   occurs in Central America, South America, and the West Indies; especially common in northern Brazil  
    Wild Plantain (or Lobster-claw)
    S: Platanillo

    Other names for Heliconia bihai include: Macaw Flower, False Bird-of-Paradise, Balisier  

    Heliconia bihai is also said to be Heliconia humilis.

    Heliconia bihai,
    from the "Flowers of Guatemala" 

    In the Dominican Republic, Heliconia bihai is fed upon for its nectar by the Hispaniolan Emerald, Chlorostilbon swainsonii, a hummingbird endemic to the island of Hispaniola.

    Further south in the Caribbean, Heliconia bihai is the favored plant for feeding for the female Purple-throated Carib, a hummingbird in the Lesser Antilles.
    Interestingly, however, another species, Heliconia caribaea (below), is the preferred food source for the male Purple-throated Carib.
    There is a difference in the bill shape of the male and female Purple-throated Caribs, and Heliconia bihai has a longer corolla.
    In areas where Heliconia caribaea is rare or absent, the flowers of Heliconia bihai occur in two different shapes (morphs), one of which is shaped like the flowers of Heliconia caribaea and caters to the male Purple-throated Carib.
    This reflects a very close co-evolutionary link between Heliconia bihai and its key pollinator. 
    The males of the Purple-throated Carib are territorial around prime feeding sites, while the females wander more widely and do not defend their feeding grounds.  

    Purple-throated Caribs have been observed feeding during FONT tours on the Caribbean islands of Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent.    


    A Purple-throated Carib photographed during a FONT tour 

  537. Heliconia caribaea  (*)  ______  occurs in the West Indies from Jamaica and Cuba to Saint Vincent
    Wild Plantain

    Heliconia caribaea
    also said to be Heliconia bihai (above).

  538. Heliconia chartacea  ______  CR  (TPCR:405)
    "Sexy Pink"

  539. Heliconia clinophila  ______  CR  PN  (TPCR:397)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama 

  540. Heliconia collinsiana  ______  occurs from southern Mexico to Nicaragua

    Heliconia collinsiana also said to be Heliconia pendula (below).

  541. Heliconia curtispatha  ______  occurs from Panama to Ecuador

    Heliconia curtispatha
    is very closely related to Heliconia longa (below). 

  542. Heliconia hirsuta  ______  occurs in Venezuela

  543. Heliconia imbricata  ______  CR  (TPCR:398)   occurs from Costa Rica to Colombia

  544. Heliconia lankesteri  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:399)   occurs in Costa Rica and Panama
    Two varieties:  var. lankesteri, with yellow bracts, and  var. rubra, with red bracts
    Hybrids occur wherever they meet.

    In Costa Rica, the red variety of Heliconia lankesteri is in the Central Mountains and on the Caribbean slope of the Talamanca mountains.
    The  yellow variety is mostly on the Pacific slope of the Talamanca mountains, from 3,900 to more than 6,000 feet above sea level.
    Heliconia lankesteri reaches the highest elevation of any heliconia in Costa Rica.

  545. Heliconia latispatha  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:395)   occurs from southern Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela
    Golden Heliconia 
    (or Wild Plantain)
    S: Platanillo

    Heliconia latispatha
    is probably the common heliconia in Costa Rica, and it is often seen along roadsides.

  546. Heliconia longa  ______  CR  (TPCR:401)   occurs from southern Nicaragua to Ecuador

  547. Heliconia mariae  ______  occurs from Honduras to northern South America
    Beefsteak Heliconia

  548. Heliconia monteverdensis  ______  CR  (TPCR:402)   endemic to Costa Rica

    In Costa Rica, Heliconia monteverdensis occurs in the Tilaran and Guanacaste mountain ranges, from 4,500 to 5,100 feet above sea level. 

  549. Heliconia pendula  ______  occurs from Guatemala to Peru
    Hanging Heliconia

  550. Heliconia pogonantha  (var. pogonantha)  ______  CR  (TPCR:402)   occurs from Nicaragua to northern South America
  551. Heliconia psittacorum  ______  CR  (TPCR:404)   occurs in Brazil and the Guianas. In Costa Rica, cultivated.
    Parrot's Plantain
    (or Parakeet Flower (an herbaceous plant)

  552. Heliconia rostrata  ______  CR  (TPCR:405)  occurs in South America, in Argentina, Brazil and Peru, also in Central America on the Caribbean side from Belize to Panama
    Crab's Claws 
    (an herbaceous plant)

    Other names for Heliconia rostrata include Lobster Claw, Beaked Heliconia, Hanging Heliconia.

  553. Heliconia schiedeana  ______  occurs in southern Mexico

  554. Heliconia tricolor  ______  occurs in Peru, in the upper Amazon basin
    (a local name)

  555. Heliconia wagneriana  (*)  ______  CR  (TPCR:403)  occurs from Belize and Guatemala to northern Colombia
    Pink-and-green Heliconia

    Heliconia wagneriana
    is also said to be Heliconia elongata.

    Heliconia wagneriana is a terrestrial plant with aquatic flowers. A giant herb, it is one of the most beautiful of the wild plantains.
    It lives in abandoned clearings and along the banks of rivers and lagoons in the wet Caribbean lowlands of Central America.
    The blades of its great, gracefully arching, light green leaves attain ten feet in length by one in breadth. In the midst of them, at the top of the short false stem formed by their overlapping bases, there stands the flattened, upright inflorescence.
    Its thick, fleshy bracts are strongly folded, and each of their exposed faces is highly colored, with a light red center that pales outwardly to orange, which is narrowly bordered in green.
    These cupped bracts retain the rain that falls into them and are nearly always well filled, forming little pools in which the flower buds develop.
    The mature flower is a slender watertight tube about 2 and a half inches long.
    During the night before anthesis, it stretches up until its green tip is above the water, while the white lower part remains submerged.

    The fruits, like the flowers of Heliconia wagneriana, develop under the water, which is fouled by the decaying floral parts and soon swarms with small aquatic life, including larvae of drone flies and mosquitoes. 
    As it matures, the white berry develops a lavender tint, which deepens to a rich cobalt blue as it is pushed upward into the air by the rapid stretching of the thick perdicel that supports it.
    The glossy blue berries, each containing 3 hard rough seeds, are sought by a number of birds, including Purple Gallinules.
    Not content to wait until the ripe berries are exposed for them by the elongation of their stalks, the gallinules tear apart the thick, fleshy bracts to reach those that are still submerged.
    What a lovely sight a Purple Gallinule makes, as with its long yellow toes it grasps the gaily colored bracts and tears them with its red bill, while exposing the white feathers beneath its short, uplifted tail.

    The above narrative is from the book, "A Naturalist in Costa Rica" by Alexander Skutch, published in 1971.                

    A Purple Gallinule photographed during a FONT tour
    (photo by Marie Gardner)  

    Heliconia wagneriana is pollinated by the hummingbirds known as hermits.

    Genus MUSA

    In Central America, plants in MUSA, including the Banana and Plantain, are favored food for the hummingbird, the Violet Sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus. 

  556. Musa x sapientum  (*) (ph)  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (TPCR:182,184 Musa acuminata, TPCR:183 Musa velutina 
    Banana  (a giant-rosette plant)
    S: Platano

    Wild Bananas
    originally grew in southeast Asia.

    The taxonomy of the Banana is involved.
    Here, sapientum relates to the "desert banana", that is the uncooked food eaten for breakfast, etc.
    The "x" prior to it indicates that it came from hybridization.
    "x paradisiaca" is used here (below) for the closely-related Plantain, which has to be cooked to be enjoyed.
    "x sapientum" is a hybrid from two "wild bananas" of southeast Asia: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.
    Among the many forms of bananas that now exist are Cavendish Bananas, Dwarf Bananas known as Lady Fingers, and the Jamaican Red Banana which has a pinkish peel. 

    In Costa Rica and other places, the Cavendish Banana, or Chinese Banana, Musa x cavendishii, is a host plant for the butterfly Opsiphanes bogotanus, the Bogota Owl Butterfly.  

    An interesting book about the banana is "The Fish that Ate the Whale, the Life and Times of America's Banana King" by Rich Cohen, 2012.
    It tells about the banana, over the years, in business and history, and how it came to be as we know it now.
    About the banana itself, here's an excerpt from the book:

    Some facts about the banana:

    It is not a tree. It's an herb, the world's tallest grass. Reaching, in perfect conditions, 30 feet, it's the largest plant in the world without a woody trunk.
    Its stem actually consists of banana leaves, big, thick, elephant ears, coiled like a roll of dollar bills.
    As the plant grows, the stem uncoils, revealing new leaves, tender at first, rough at last.
    The fruit appears at the end of a cycle, growing from a stem that bends toward the ground under its own weight.
    Because the plant is an herb, not a tree, the banana is properly classed as a berry.
    The plant grows from a rhizome, which, in the way of a potato, has no roots.
    It's outrageously top-heavy and can be felled, as entire fields sometimes are, by a strong wind.

    While the plant can be grown all over the world, it will, with two exceptions, bear fruit only in the tropics.
    Iceland and Israel are the exceptions. Iceland because it grows on the slopes of a volcano; Israel for reasons that remain mysterious.
    Various attempts to farm bananas commercially in the continental United States have failed.
    The "tree" bears a red flower, a delicate, bloody thing, a few days before it fruits.

    The banana's great strength as a crop is also its weakness: it does not grow from a seed, but from a cutting.
    When the rhizome is chopped into pieces and planted, each piece produces a "tree". (Even though the plant is not technically a tree, I keep calling it that.)
    In fact, the banana does not have a seed - I mean, yes, there is a stone at the bottom of the fruit, but try to plant it and watch what happens. Nothing. Time and evolution have rendered that stone useless.
    This means savings in seed and in the shipping of seed and so on, but it also means each fruit - I keep calling it a fruit too because I funny calling it a berry - is a clone, a replica of all the others of its species.
    Which means nice corporate uniformity but also poses a terrific danger - if a parasite or a disease mutates to kill one banana, it will eventually kill all members of that species."  

    In the 1960s, "Panama Disease" attacked large numbers of banana plantations, and new disease-resistant strains had to be developed. 

    Banana, not a tree, photographed during 
    the FONT tour in southern Ecuador in April 2014.
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 

  557. Musa x paradisiaca  (*)  ______  CR  MX(YU)  (now, like the banana, grown throughout the American tropics)

    is the name given to a green form of the banana. Plantains do not ripen the same way as their cousins, the sweet bananas, and they are always less sweet.
    The individual fruits of the plantain are often bigger than a banana, and usually more horn-shaped.
    Plantains are one of the most prolific of all carbohydrate producing crops. It has been calculated that an area of ground capable of producing 50 pounds of wheat or 100 pounds of potatoes could carry as much as 4,000 pounds of plantains.

    Although plantains are less sweet than bananas, they are far more versatile in their use. They are often boiled and served with meat as part of a main course, but because their tissue has a starchier taste than that of bananas, plantains are best cooked with some spices, onions and pepper, or mixed in a casserole.
    Plantains are often cut into slices and fried in a pan of deep fat producing tasty crisps.

    Chopped beef and plantains are the main ingredients of a well-known Puerto Rican dish called Piononos.
    In that dish, the plantains are cut wafer thin and then fried and wrapped around a mixture of cheese and finely chopped meat.

    That Puerto Rican meal called Piononos has been enjoyed during FONT tours at the Hacienda Juanita, a nice place with good birding, and good food, in picturesque hills in the western part of the island, in an area renowned for fine coffee production.

    Family MYRICACEAE  (Wax-Myrtle)

    Genus MYRICA

  558. Myrica cerifera  ______  CY  (vulnerable in CY)
    (name in CY)

  559. Myrica phanerodonta  ______  CR

  560. Myrica pubescens  ______  CR

    Family MYRISTICACEAE  (Nutmeg)


  561. Compsoneura sprucei  ______  CR


  562. Dialyanthera otoba  ______  CR


  563. Iryanthera sp.  ______  CR


  564. Myristica fragans  ______  (native to the Moluccas, or the Spice Islands of Indonesia) 

    Genus VIROLA

  565. Virola guatamalensis  ______  CR

  566. Virola koschnyi  ______  CR  (TPCR:244)  occurs in Central America and northern South America
    Wild Nutmeg
    S: Fruta Dorada

  567. Virola sebifera  ______  BR  CR   occurs from Costa Rica to Brazil
    Red Ucuuba
    P: Ucuuba do Cerrado

    Family MYRSINACEAE  (Myrsine)

    Genus ARDISIA

  568. Ardisia auriculata  ______  CR

  569. Ardisia compressa  ______  CR

  570. Ardisia cutteri  ______  CR

  571. Ardisia dodgei  ______  CR

  572. Ardisia glanduloso-marginata  ______  CR

  573. Ardisia granatensis  ______  CR

  574. Ardisia nigropunctata  ______  CR

  575. Ardisia palmana  ______  CR

  576. Ardisia pitteri  ______  CR

  577. Ardisia revoluta  ______  CR

    Genus MYRSINE

  578. Myrsine acrantha  ______  CY  (critically endangered in CY)


  579. Parathesis adenanthera  ______  CR

  580. Parathesis chrysophylla  ______  CR

  581. Parathesis glabra  ______  CR

    Genus RAPANEA

  582. Rapanea ferruginea  ______  CR

  583. Rapanea juergensenii  ______  CR


  584. Weigeltia spectabilis  ______  CR

    Family MYRTACEAE  (Myrtles)

    On the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, there are about 145 described species in MYRTACEAE.

    Genus ACCA

  585. Acca sellowiana  ______  (native to South America)
    Pineapple Guava 
    (bush with simple, alternate leaves)
    S: Guayabo del Brasil


  586. Callistemon viminallis  (formerly Melaleuca viminallis)  ______  BR  CR  (TPCR:144)  originally from the east coast of Australia
    Weeping Bottlebush

    Callistemon viminalis is especially attractive to feeding hummingbirds, and migrating Tennessee Warblers. 


  587. Calyptranthes pallens  ______  CR  CY  (endemic to the West Indies) (endangered in CY)

    Genus EUGENIA

  588. Eugenia axillaris  ______  CY  
    (name in CY)

  589. Eugenia biflora  ______  CY

  590. Eugenia chacueyana  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, along the banks of the Chacuey River in Dajabon) 

  591. Eugenia foetida  ______  CY

  592. Eugenia salamensis  ______  CR

    Genus MYRCIA

  593. Myrcia carnea  ______  CR

  594. Myrcia splendens  ______  CR


  595. Myrcianthes fragrans  ______  CR  CY  (endangered in CY)
    (name in CY)

    Genus PIMENTA

  596. Pimenta dioica  ______  MX(YU)
    S: Pimienta Gorda, or Pimienta de Tabasco, Pimienta Dulce

    Allspice is the only common pantry spice native to the New World. The natural zone of the tree that produces the berry is from the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico to the Antilles, where it grows to great heights in the wild. 
    (from the book: "Yucatan, Recipes from a Culinary Expedition" by David Sterling)

  597. Pimenta haitiensis  ______  DR  (endemic to Hispaniola, between Oviedo and Pedernales)
    S: Canelilla de Oviedo

    Genus PSIDIUM

  598. Psidium guajava  (*) (ph)  _____  CR  EC  MX(YU)  (TPCR:185,186)   native to tropical America, now widespread
    (a bush with simple, opposite leaves)
    P: Goiaba
    S: Guayabo,
    or Guayaba

    Names for Psidium guajava also include: Yellow Guava, Apple Guava.

    In the tropics, Guava is available much of the year. When it ripens on the tree, the air is filled with the smell of the fruit, as it falls to the ground, where it ferments, emanating an exotic smell, reminding one that he or she is in the tropics.
    Such was the smell where the photo below was taken, at Copalinga, during one of our tours in southern Ecuador. 
    That rotting fruit, yes, the source of the exotic smell, attracts many butterflies, some bright and colorful, and again making one appreciate one's time in a tropical setting.   

    Psidium guajava is native to southern Mexico and Central and South America, where is also now widely cultivated. 
    In South America, now, it is very common, for example in Brazil, where on the tables at many meals it is in various forms, from jellies to juices. The hard-textured jellies are often served with cheese. 

    The fruit itself has a variety of forms, sizes, and colors, but most commonly it is spherical, about 1 and a half to 2 and a quarter inches in diameter, with a green to yellowish skin and pulp. 
    Other varieties have rose-colored or white flesh. (The rose coloration is the common variety in Brazil.)
    The skin is very thin, and the inside of the fruit is characterized by a somewhat sandy flesh, like that of a pear, and with a cluster of seeds.

    Guavas are consumed fresh when fully ripened, or turned into preserves and sorbet, or into refreshing drinks.

    Fresh Guava is a good source of vitamin c and also contains vitamin A, iron, calcium, and phosphorous. 

    In the Yucatan region of Mexico, Guayabo is the prime ingredient of an exotically flavored local ice cream called Helado de Crema Morisca.
    In the city of Manaus in Amazonian Brazil, there are wonderful places where a large variety of tropically flavored ice creams are sold, including among those flavors, Guava.

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

    On the tree, a fruit of the Guava, during the 
    April 2014 FONT tour in southern Ecuador at Copalinga 
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

    Genus SYZYGIUM

  599. Syzygium malaccense  ______  CR  (TPCR:186,187)   originally on the Malay Peninsula
    Malay Apple
    S: Manzana de Agua

    In Costa Rica, Malay Apple is one of several popular fruits sold in bags along the Pan-American Highway. 

    Family NYCTAGINACEAE  (Four O'Clocks)  


  600. Boerhavia coccinea  ______  CY
    Chick Weed 
    (name in CY)

  601. Boerhavia erecta  ______  CY
    Broom Weed 
    (name in CY)


  602. Bougainvillea spectabilis  ______  (originally grew in Brazil)
    (a climbing plant with simple, alternating leaves)

  603. Bougainvillea sp.  ______  CR  (TPCR:145,146)

    Genus GUAPIRA

  604. Guapira discolor  ______  CY  (endemic to the Greater Antilles and Cayman Islands)
    Cabbage Tree 
    (name in CY)


  605. Mirabilis jalapa  ______  (native to Mexico and the southwest US)
    Four O' Clock 
    (herbaceous plant)  
    S: Buenas Tardes 

    Genus NEEA

  606. Neea amplifolia  ______  CR

  607. Neea laetevirens  ______  CR

    Neea laetevirens
    is a host plant for caterpillars of the butterfly Emesis aurimna, the White-spotted Emesis or White-spotted Tanmark. They eat the foliage of the plant.  

    Genus PISONIA

  608. Pisonia aculeata  ______  CR  CY  (endangered in CY)

  609. Pisonia macranthocarpa  ______  CR

  610. Pisonia margaretae  ______  CY  (endemic to Grand Cayman Island) (critically endangered)

    Genus TORRUBIA

  611. Torrubia costaricana  ______  CR

    Family NYMPHAEACEAE  (Water Lilies)

    In the genus Nymphaea   
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

    Genus NYMPHAEA

  612. Nymphaea ampla  ______  CY  
    Water Lily

    Genus VICTORIA

  613. Victoria amazonica  (*)  ______  BR
    Amazon Water Lily  

    The Amazon Water Lily, Victoria amazonica, is the largest of all the NYMPHAEACEAE water lilies.
    Floating on the water's surface, they are up to 9 feet in diameter.
    Their flowers are white the first night they are opened, and become pink the next night.

    During FONT Brazil Tours, in Amazonia near Manaus, we've seen the very big Amazon Water Lilies, as we've been on boats, from which we've also seen Pink River Dolphins, Gray Dolphins (the "Tucuxi"), Amazonian Manatee, and many birds, including Agami Heron and Harpy Eagle.          

  614. Victoria cruziana  (*)  ______  (native to Paraguay, southern Brazil, northern Argentina)
    Santa Cruz Water Lily

    We've seen the Santa Cruz Water Lily on rivers during FONT tours in the area of Iguazu Falls.

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