A Guide to the Flowers of Nosara
Some of Nosaras plants, like the Pochote tree, Guanacaste tree or coffee plant, get the all the attention. But the truth is, the flowers and bushes that cover Nosaras beautiful landscapes are all incredible. From emerald-green epiphytes to rainbow-colored heliconias that adorn the local terrain, Nosaras vibrant colors are a microcosm of Costa Ricas spectacular plant life. In addition to over 1,000 species of trees, Costa Rica has a huge number of native plants. If that weren’t enough many flowers and plants have been introduced from other parts of the globe. The incredible plant life of Nosara and the surrounding area is not to be missed. Below is a brief guide to some of the amazing flowers you may be lucky to encounter during a walk around town.
The Red Hibiscus can be found everywhere all year round. In addition to it’s natural beauty, it also plays a large role in the ecosystem and is a huge draw for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Although you may not find it on any of the local restaurants beverage menu, hibiscus is also as a popular flavor of tea noted for its color, tanginess and flavor. Chinese herbologists insist that this flower has a wide range of medicinal uses.
Coryanthes, otherwise known as bucket orchids, is a very rare species of tropical epiphytic orchids. They are native to Central America, Mexico and Trinidad. In addition to a short lifespan these beautiful flowers often grow in tree canopies. Although you’ll be lucky to spot one, look towards the treetops while out and about and you may just be lucky.
Epidendrums are native to the tropics and subtropical regions of both the north and south American continents, from Argentina to North Carolina. Their multi colored flower petals are around 1cm in diameter and last around 3 weeks. They are notable for their beautiful fragrance.
Laelia Rubescens is a species of orchid found all throughout Central America. It’s hardy nature means it can survive outside of it’s natural environment, making it a popular ornamental plant, particularly in the warm climes of Southern California.
This flower is commonly known as the Easter Orchid and one of the more common species of orchid. Additionally, owing to it’s 3 week lifespan (relatively long for any orchid) the chances of seeing one of this flowers in and around Nosara is high. Long known as Epidendrum atropurpureum, this beautiful orchid ranges from Mexico, though Central America and Northern South America, and reportedly into Brazil. Like many wide ranging orchids, Encyclia cordigera is adaptable to varying cultural conditions and makes a good subject for hobbyist orchid collections. This species is found in three color forms making it even more desirable. They have an intoxicating fragrance that varies slightly from plant to plant, but some say the pink-lipped flowers smell like roses. Flowers can last for well over a month
Caesalpinia Pulcherrima, also known as the Peacock flower is a species of flowering plant which actually belongs to the pea family. Although it’s exact origin is unknown it is believed to be native to the West Indies. Despite it’s beauty the seeds of the Peacock flower are highly toxic. In fact, tales from the Caribbean colonization era recall enslaved female Indians deliberately eating these seeds in order to terminate a pregnancy, therefore ensuring their children would not become the property of their Dutch masters.
Birds of Paradise
One of the most common flower found commonly growing around Nosara also happens to be one of the most beautiful. Easily recognizable to many flora enthusiasts, the Bird of Paradise is originally native to South Africa but was introduced to the Americas in the last century. Identified by it’s unique growth pattern, this plant grows up to 2 meters tall and has large strong leaves. It’s strong colors and aesthetic appeal make it a popular ornamental plant.