The “Panama tree” (Sterculia apetala) was declared the National Tree of Panama, by Cabinet Decree 371 of November 26, 1969. Parents should teach their children how to spot them these trees, which are easy to find in Panama City.
When you look up to the full moon this Wednesday, October 8th, remember there are reasons to celebrate. Our own Biomuseo opened its doors and we are all excited about it! Even nature was pleased that bright, sunny morning, on October 2, 2014.
A common misconception is that just because China is on the other side of the world, every exotic product (or any product that seems to be from far away) is brought from there. In this case, I am talking about the rambutan, a fruit we like to call Chinese mamón or mamón chino (Nephelium lappaceum), which is not originally from China, but from Malaysia. This fruit is currently grown in many tropical regions around the world.
Its scientific name is Cavallinesia platanifolia and it is part of the Bombacaceae family. This family of trees includes species like barrigón and balsa or balso. The baobab, that huge tree native to the African desert depicted in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, is also part of the family.
There are so many mango trees in Panama that it may lead us to think that they are native to this country. Truth be told, Mangifera indica, scientific name of the tree, comes from India; Eastern India, Myanmar (Burma) and Andaman Islands, to be exact.
There is everything for everyone in this world. “What a lot of things!”, Aunt Carmen used to say, marveled at the endless variety. Among the diversity of people living in cities and rural areas, still some people would take some time for providing food, not only for themselves and the ones they care about, but also for birds, allowing their patios or gardens to become dining areas where fruit, bread or birdseed is served.
This small bird should be acknowledged as a symbol of the many birds of the Americas. It can be easily found from Canada to Tierra del Fuego, including the Lesser Antilles and even the Falkland Islands (Argentine Islas Malvinas).
Bougainvillea plants are ornamental vines, bushes, and trees from the Nyctaginacaeae family and here in Panama they are known as veraneras. Actually, there are approximately 250 species native to South America, Brazil in particular, but only few of them are used in gardens.