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The flowering trees of Guanacaste

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Guanacaste’s many flowering trees dot the landscape with pastel puffs of colour. Trees blossom in a strange way in the dry lands of Guanacaste, flowering literally overnight and then, just as suddenly, shedding their petals to the ground, covering it in a carpet of confetti colours. The corteza amarilla bursts into a wild Van Gogh-like blaze in March, April and May, and is all the more dramatic being set against a landscape of burnt siennas, muted mauves and sallow yellows. The guanacaste tree itself, also called the “elephant ear”, is a majestic wide-canopied specimen and an emblem of the nation. Its cream-coloured flowers appear in May, and its curious seed pods feed the cattle and horses.

In November the deciduous guachipelín tree blooms, with its delicate fern-like leaves; in January it’s time for the pastel-pink floss of the poui, followed in March by the equally pretty tabebuia rosea. By the end of the dry season the red flowers of the malinche explode into colour.

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