Trees and flowers of the Yucatan

The Flamboyan tree (Spanish, also known as Tabachín in central Mexico), Poinciana regia, Caesalpiniaceae family is endemic to Madagascar and was introduced in the late 19th Century. In Yucatan, these beautiful flowering trees became favorite ornamental trees. Itsorchid shaped deep orange-red flowers are truly exquisite, one petal is different from the rest with light tone and deep shades of orange magenta spot; flowers grow in clusters, blooms in May and summer the Flamboyan trees are fully covered with flowers without their pinnae leaflets (foliage). Flamboyan seeds grow in large hard pods.

Another favorite in the area is the Maculis or pink Uayacán. This species is distributed from southern Mexico to Venezuela and Ecuador. The tree crown is wide, with irregular, stratified ramification and only few thick branches. The bark can be gray to brown, in varying darkness and may be vertically fissured. Leaves are compund, digitate and deciduous. Each leaf has five leaflets of variable size, the middle one being the largest. Flowering occurs mainly in January and February, and is generally associated with dry periods; although flowering has also been observed in August, September, April and May. Flowers are large, in various tones of pink to purple, and appear while the tree has none, or very few, leaves. Pollination occurs probably by insects, although the flowers are visited by many birds such as tangers, hummingbirds and orioles (yuyas). The long and slender fruit capsules can measure up to 35 cm (14 in) and appear from February through April. It is a fairly fast growing tre

Also gracefully decorating many avenues and trees in Merida, the Lluvia de Oro tree (Spanish), Cassia fistula, Fabaceae family; is native to southern Asia. A deciduous tree with pinnae leaflets (foliage), brought in the late 19th Century to Yucatan as an ornamental flowering tree; it is most striking during May when it is in full bloom. Flowers bloom in delicate golden yellow drop clusters. Golden Shower seed pods are long dark brown sausage-like with woody exterior and stick molasses covering wafer shaped seeds, abundant while blooming. Like the Royal Flamboyan, Golden Shower tree is a favorite in small Mayan hamelts and Yucatan’s urban avenues or parks, for its amazingly exotic looking and has truly whimsical beautiful flowering bloom clusters gently dropping ever so graceful down its branches.

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