Encompassing fertile valleys, tourist ridden coast lines and the mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and the Cordillera Isabelia, Central America is home to tremendous ecological diversity. The range of environments, coupled with a warm climate, has produced a number of exotic plant species, many of which flower with stunning blooms.
Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) is a small flowering tree that is native to Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. The plant is cultivated as an ornamental tree in warm climates all over the world, cherished for its heavily fragrant, five petaled flowers, which open in the summer or early fall to exhibit white, yellow or shades of pink and red petals. The tree requires well drained soil and full sun in order to produce its signature blooms. Breaking branches of the tree should be avoided, as the plant oozes a white sap that can be irritating to the skin.
Pride of Barbados
Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is a flowering small tree or shrub native to parts of the United States, the Caribbean and throughout Central and South America. Also called Red Bird of Paradise or Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados produces striking clusters of red and yellow blooms, as well as fern like foliage. The tree reaches heights between four to eight feet, growing in well drained soils in full sun or partial shade. The tree is sensitive to frost and prefers warm, tropical climates.
Jacaranda is a genus of flowering plants, all of which are native to different areas throughout subtropical climates in the Americas. Blue Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) is a striking species that can be found in South and Central America, particularly Eastern Guatemala. The plant is cultivated in warm climates all over the world because of its marvelous rows of tubular blueish mauve flowers. Blue Jacaranda also has attractive, fern like foliage. Jacaranda wood has a pleasing odor and is sometimes used in construction.