Today Costa Rica celebrates the Día de la Anexión de Guanacaste which happened in 1824, as per request by the population of the then Nicaraguan Guanacaste. Therefore there is no need to get your knickers in a twist about annexations and such. After all, the Guanacastecos’ slogan goes:
“De la Patria por Nuestra Voluntad”
But enough of politics. In honor of this CR 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.
During the summer (December through April) many trees may lose their leaves briefly. This is the 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 will soon be plenty of moisture to promote the germination of the seeds contained within those elephant ears.
The bark of these large trees may take on a wide range of appearances depending on its age, location, and the season. It varies from smooth and light grey to deeply craggy and bluish-black. Especially during the wet season, the bark houses a teeming biotope of lichen, moss, fungi and small animals.
Owing to its 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.