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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Photos by Cindy Skeie II: Flowers of Laguna de Apoyo

Cindy Skeie is not only a capable photographer, she is an enthusiastic nature lover, with an eye for the beauty found in all scales of nature. Below is a sampling of her photography taken during the dry season of 2011 in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, reminding us of the special offerings each season brings us. She worked with our botanist, Pablo Somarriba, to photograph flowering plants. Here we present a few of the flowering plants she photographed.

Sapranthus palanga
Sapranthus palanga (Annonaceae) Spanish common name: Palanco. Does this flower give the impression of a smell of dead flesh? Its odor is distinctly fetid, and it is pollenated by flies! This species was recently separated from Sapranthus violaceus, on the basis of coliflory (flowers emerging from the side of stem instead of shoots).

Quassia amara
Quassia amara (Simaroubaceae) Spanish common name: Amargon. This bush harbors many chemical properties, and is used in fever medications, insecticides, and in flavoring for liqueurs.

Jacquinia nervosa
Jacquinia nervosa (Teophrastaceae) is called Burrito locally. Its range is from Mexico to Panama.

Tecoma stans
A cluster of Yellow Trumpet Flower, Tecoma stans (Bignoniaceae), called Sardinillo in Nicaragua. This species easily colonizes disrupted areas with degraded soils, making it an excellent species for reforestation. The tree makes broomsticks for a socioeconomically important sector in the Laguna de Apoyo area, it makes high quality firewood.

Aphelandra scabra
Aphelandra scabra (Acanthaceae) Spanish common name: Papamiel. The stems of bush were used by the indigenous people of the area for arrows.

Barleria oenotheroides
Barleria oenotheroides (Acanthaceae).  

plants Nicaragua
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flowers of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

Here we present the flowers of just a few of the more than 500 species of plants documented in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

Anoda cristata (Malvaceae). Range from Mexico through Central America. This species is an important weed in some places but is sometimes harvested as a food and medicinal plant. Known in English as spurred anoda or crested anoda.

Cascabela ovata (Apocynaceae). Range from Mexico through Central America. Most of the petals have fallen from this flower, and two fruits are also present.

Achimenes longiflora (Gesneriadeae). A trailing vine with large, beautiful flowers. Over its large range (southern US into South America), several varieties are found.

Rytidostylis gracilis (Cucurbitaceae). Called "chanchito" locally, this annual species is common throughout most of Nicaragua and the neotropics.

Gonolobus barbatus (Apocynaceae). Common in open areas in Nicaragua's Racific region. Flowers in June-October (rainy season), annual.

Tecoma stans (Boraginaceae). Yellow trumpet-flower. Found from southern US through South America. Whereas it is little more than a bush in the northern limits of its range, it is a common and fast-growing tree in Nicaragua. This tree is very important for the ecological recovery of deforested natural areas in the Pacific region of Nicaragua, and is among the most common trees in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

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