Today Costa Rica celebrates the Día de la Anexión de Guanacaste, which happened in 1824 – as per request by the population (before you get your knickers in a twist about the possibility of celebrating a hostile take-over). After all, the Guanacastecos’ slogan goes:
“De la patria por nuestra voluntad”
But enough of politics. In honor of our National Holiday, I wanted to show you a few pictures of the tree, which not only represents the cattle growing region of Guanacaste, but has become the National Tree of all of Costa Rica. For additional information, check out the Guanacaste info on wiki.
|Seed pods growing on leafless tree in January|
During the summer (December through April) many trees may loose their leaves briefly. This is also fruit growing season and the Guanacaste trees grow really funky looking, large seed pods, sometimes called elephant ears.
By about April, the pods have ripened and are getting ready to drop to the fertile ground.
Since this is also the beginning of the wet season, there’s plenty of moisture to promote germination of the seeds.
The bark of these large trees shows many facets in it’s appearance, often on the same tree, depending on age, location or season. It may change from smooth and grey to deeply craggily. Especially during the wet season, the bark becomes a teeming biotop of lichen, moss, fungi and small animals.
Owing to it’s tremendous crown, the Guanacaste is a wonderful shade tree in it’s “home region” of Guanacaste Province. It also provides a dramatic backdrop, when billowing fog meanders through the canyons and swirls around the mountain tops of the Central Valley.