MISCELLANEOUS AREAS (PANAMÁ) WITH EMPHASIS ON PLANTS

Panama has many notable tropical plants--both wet and dry tropical. There is high biodiversity there given the land bridge between North and South America (plus variability in the length of the dry season and terrain). Note that there are other pics of specific plants on some of the other Panama pages.

First, some native palms. This is the most notable native palm, Attalea butyracea (no common English name, but this is known as "palma real" in Panama). This was from west-central Panama (where the dry season is fairly long), west of Santiago.



An American oil palm (Elaeis oleifera), which is native to Panama but much smaller than the African oil palm, which is found in a lot of plantations worldwide in the tropics. This was from near Santiago.



This is the mocora palm (Astrocaryum standleyanum) in a very wet area near Almirante in the northwest...



The mocora palm mixed with other trees/plants in the same area...



This is Iriartea deltoidea (no common English or Spanish name, but known as the corneto in Panama) in a wet area (around 2000 feet above sea level) southeast of Almirante, in the northwest...





From the same area, Sabal mauritiiformis (no common English name, but this is known as palma de guagara in Panama)...





A mystery palm in the same area (note the Sabal mauritiiformis in the upper left)...



Here's a plant that looks like a palm but is instead in the somewhat obscure Cyclanthaceae family. This is the Panama hat "palm" (Carludovia palmata). It's found in many parts of Panama.





One of the most common trees in Panama is the cashew tree. This one is from somwhere about half way between Santiago and Panama City near the south coast.





Another common (but mostly small) tree in Panama (and elsewhere in Central America and the Caribbean) is the gumbo limbo tree (Bursera simaruba). The first pic is from a wet area in the northwest near Almirante.



The second gumbo limbo pic is from a seasonally dry area east of Santiago...



Here is a pioneer tree along roadsides and other disturbed areas in wet parts of Panama (this one southeast of Almirante) called the membrillo de montaña/mountain quince (Cespedesia spathulata). This has new red or orange leaves at the branch tips that look like flowers from a distance.







And one with blooms (but with greener leaves) in a slightly drier climate...



Somewhat similar-looking (and usually along roadsides) Gustavia superba (known as the membrillo/quince). This is near the Panama Canal...



Latin America's most common "pioneer tree", the cecropia (Cecropia sp.--not sure of the species, but there are many in Panama and the rest of Latin America). They grow very fast along roadsides and forest openings but are short-lived. This one is in the northwest...



Tree ferns were common in wetter parts of Panama, like the northwest...



The Inga (ice cream bean) genus was very common in Panama. This is probably Inga sapindoides (also in the wet northwest)...



A balo tree (Gliricida sepium) east of Santiago...



A (Panamanian) laurel tree (Cordia alliodora) in bloom. This is northeast of David in a drier part of western Panama.





Another common (and often large) tree in Panama, the espavé tree (Anacardium excelsum). This was growing in a moderately dry area west of Santiago, but this will also grow in wet areas...



Close-up of blooms...



The panama tree (Sterculia apetala). This grows very large and often has a buttressed trunk. This one is in western Panama between David and Boquete.



Another large tree native to Panama, the barrigón tree (Pseudobombax septenatum). This is along the highway west of Panama City. Other barrigón trees are in the Panama Canal photo album #2.



Perhaps Panama's most "ordinary looking tree" (which looks like an elm) and also very common, this is (oddly) related to cannabis (but then so is the hackberry of North America)! This is the capulin tree (Trema micrantha). This is in a moderately dry area east of Santiago.



Here's a mystery tree (from western Panama, east of David) with orange-brown blooms that from a distant look like leaves that are turning brown)...



A mystery shrub with new leaves being a bright pink-red color that look almost like blooms. This is from about 4000 feet above sea level (near the crest) along the road between David and Almirante in northwestern Panama.



And finally, a few pictures of one of Panama's most famous flowering trees, the guayacan (Tabebuia sp.) with bright yellow blooms that can be seen from great distances. The first pic is from east of Panama City along a roadside...



Here's a pic of a large one west of Panama City...



Close-up of blooms on another guayacan...



All of the above pictures on this page were taken in February 2011 by Brandt Maxwell.

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Copyright ©2011 Brandt Maxwell.