Wonderfully Weird Stuff

Small lake at entrance. Egrets roost in the trees and caiman live in the swamp behind this.
Small lake at entrance. Egrets roost in the trees and caiman live in the swamp behind this.

My friend took me to CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza) in Turri today.  We visited the botanical garden and had it all to ourselves!  What a great place.  I could have easily spent more time there looking a little closer at things so maybe I’ll go back sometime.  I’ll just caption these pictures with what I know about them.

Sorry for the foot shot but I had to get scale next to this GRAPEFRUIT.
Sorry for the foot shot but I had to get scale next to this GRAPEFRUIT.

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Columbian rose.
Colombian rose.
Somehow I don't think he's just helping her cross the street.
Somehow I don’t think he’s just helping her cross the street.

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Mangosteen we got to eat!  Man, it was good.
Mangosteen we got to eat! Man, it was good.
Some kind of ginger, I think.
Some kind of ginger, I think.
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The canonball tree has a TON of medicinal uses to it.
Flower of canonball tree
Flower of canonball tree
Looked like a stack of bowling balls and I held one; easily 8 pounds.
Looked like a stack of bowling balls and I held one; easily 8 pounds.
Canonball tree. Crazy heavy, watch out below! Originated in India.
Canonball tree. Crazy heavy, watch out below! Originated in India.

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Big bamboo.
Big bamboo.
I said these looked like rattlesnake tails and the name is similar to that we found out later!
I said these looked like rattlesnake tails and the name is similar to that we found out later!
I swear I see a new butterfly everyday here.
I swear I see a new butterfly everyday here.  This one is called Malachite
Anyone tried durian? Post a comment about it!
Anyone tried durian? Post a comment about it!

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Oropendula nests in the palms.
Oropendola nests in the palms.
I'm a sucker for lily pads!
I’m a sucker for lily pads!

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Rapidly multiplying algae
Rapidly multiplying algae
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7 thoughts on “Wonderfully Weird Stuff

  1. sutcliff2013 September 18, 2013 / 7:46 pm

    Wow, wish I could have been with you. Plants just keep getting stranger there. Great photos, thanks.

  2. Camille September 19, 2013 / 1:51 am

    So many cool plants I’ve never seen before. Or even heard of! The Columbian Rose is beautiful, Mangosteen intriguing and Cannonball Tree perplexing.

  3. Camille September 19, 2013 / 1:52 am

    Oops – Colombian…

    • StephieD September 19, 2013 / 7:54 am

      Aahhh thanks for that correction, I made that mistake when posting but fixed it now!

  4. Alex De La Garza September 23, 2013 / 12:53 am

    I’ve never heard of the cannonballs. What are they for? They weigh eight pounds? Very strange.

    • StephieD September 23, 2013 / 7:03 am

      Yeah, they say not to plant the trees near your house or a sidewalk because when those things drop they sometimes explode with a loud noise! They are grown mostly for ornamental purposes. I want to say I’ve seen the ‘shells’ used in carvings, like to put around a light fixture although I’m not positive that it wasn’t some other kind of gourd used. The fruit can be fed to livestock…people don’t tend to eat it because it has a bad smell. For medicinal purposes it has antibacterial qualities to it, can be rubbed on dogs to cure mange. In humans, different parts of the tree are used to treat stomach aches, tooth aches, pain, malaria, hypertension, skin conditions and wounds.

      The flowers smell mostly at night and a tree can have thousands per day on it. They don’t have nectar, but have a lot of pollen, so bees get covered in the stuff when they visit them. They were the coolest things I’ve seen in a while! Very beautiful. There was also a smaller cannonball looking tree near this one. I don’t know if it was in the same family or just an immature tree, but the fruit were much smaller.

  5. Chalo September 24, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Hi the durian is fruit from Asia, in Malaysia is prohibid in hotels, and when eaten, people perspire a strong smell for three days!!!!

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