we went the vegetation was spectacular.
There were a lot of "flowers" like these.
Closer examination revealed that the "flowers" were leaves (bracts)
that hid the actual blooms.
It was the rainy season so each of these cups was filled with water and
most had a population of insects/larva and occasionally tadpoles.
Quite a variety; some were smooth,
others furry, some on stalks, others hung like pendants from the trees.
Orchid (Arundina graminifolia)
the blooms are at the top of 6
Not many bananas are visible as you drive through the
The bunches are covered with blue bags for protection from insects,
nematodes and rain.
Guy lines are needed for each of the
trees to prevent uprooting do to strong winds and rain softened ground.
Monorail tracks are used to transport bunches of bananas from the
fields to processing.
Workers hang the bunches from chains attached to small trolleys then
push then along the track.
Drawbridges like these allow them to
cross the road.
We saw several varieties of wild
The ones in the first picture were as hard as rock.
Other fruits we saw growing.
Star Fruit or Carambola (Averrhoa carambola)
These are the flowers of a cocoa tree (Theobroma Cacao)
They will produce a 6 to 10 inch pod with 20 to 30 beans.
Which when processed will yield
a little more than an ounce of cocoa.
I understand that Noni (Morinda
is not very tasty.
It is also called beach
mulberry and cheese fruit.
It is bitter and strong smelling but edible ... barely.
This was identified
Guava (Psidium friedrichsthalianum)
a.k.a. Costa Rican Guava or Sour
Guava. By Brett.
This fruit is a Cainito (Chrysophyllum cainito).
When ripe it is purple and I am told delicious.
Thanks to someone at Swiss Travel Costa Rica for your help identifying this and the next fruit.
Another visitor,Jorge, to my site said
"I'm 99.999.9999.99999.99999% sure that what you are displaying as a caimito is either a green cas
or a green guayaba
. I bet on the cas."
With that degree of certainty I can't argue with his identification.
If I had cut it open it would have been easy to deturmine which ID was right.
I am no expert and rely on visitors to this page for their assistance so thanks for your help everyone.
Achiote (Bixa orellana)
is used to produce annatto, a food coloring which is used in Costa Rica
and in the US since it is "exempt of certification" by the rules of the
Food and Drug Administration.
Thanks again to whoever it was at Swiss Travel Costa Rica for your help.
Saragundi (Senna Reticulata) is
reported to be beneficial for all sorts of medical conditions:
fever, constipation, arthritis, rheumatism, skin
problems, herpes, psoriasis,and as a vermifuge.
Its other common name "Piss-a-bed" suggests that it
may have some side effects.
We also saw papaya and pineapples
being raised commercially.
I don't know the names of these.
If you can identify any of them please send a note
Thanks to Kathleen who happened on this page and identified this fruit that I had listed as unknown as a "limon Mandrolino".
With that as a lead Google gave me the Spanish common name as "limon mandarina",
which translates to mandarin lemon in English.
It is also known as a Paraguayan lemon, lime Canton, rough lemon, Rangpur lime,
Limao cravo, hime lemon, or tangerine acid depending on where you are or where it was thought to originate.
It is probably a hybrid of
a mandarin orange and lemon.
Thank you Kathleen.
And another fruit.
This is another flower identified by a visitor to this page.
He said "It is a brunfelsia
also known as a Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
changes from purple to lavender to white thus the name."
(a great name for someone with a knowledge of plants don't you think.)
Red Button Ginger, Scarlet Spiral Flag, Red Cane, Panamanian Candle Ginger, Dwarf French Kiss (Costus woodsonii)
Another visitor was looking for the Yesterday Today and Tomorrow and spotted this flower.
He recognized it as ginger, researched the exact type and sent a note.
I really appreciate all the information I get from you folks out there on the web.
Lynn who lives in Costa Rica not only identified this plant but also included an interesting story about it.
This is what she said.
"Species: Hamelia patens Of the family: RUBIACEAE
Commonly known as Redhead, or zorilla real, palo camaron and coralillo
in Spanish, this plant has several medicinal uses.
Used as a remedy to many skin problems, including sores, bruises,
itches, rashes, insect bites or stings, burns, cuts, and fungal
According to recent research, it was demonstrated that active compounds
in the leaves have antibacterial and anti fungal properties, displaying
analgesic activity as well.
Having completed all the scientific data, allow me to add my personal experience with this plant:
One day after receiving a spider bite (type unknown) while puttering in
our yard here in Costa Rica, my husband was instructed by our yard man
to crush and soak some of the leaves from this plant
(which we, fortunately, have growing in our yard) in approximately. a
liter of tap water for 30 minutes.; remove the leaves and soak the
Much to our surprise, not only did the severe swelling subside, but the
venom was drawn from the wound and it healed in just a couple of days.
Pretty remarkable plant!"
I am glad it was so effective for you, Lynn, and thank you for your help.