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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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