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Latin American Plant Gallery

Click on images to enlarge.

 Luffa aegyptiacaLuffa aegyptiaca Mill. (Cucurbitaceae)
Luffa aegyptiaca Mill. (Cucurbitaceae) growing on the beach near Herradura in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica. This is the source of the loofah or vegetable sponge/body scrubber. It grows wild (escaped) and is cultivated in Costa Rica and other parts of Latin America, but is native to the Old World.
 Heliconia Heliconia L. (Musaceae)
A Heliconia L. (Musaceae) collected by A. H. Gentry in 1979, from the Chocó region in Colombia.
 Heliconia nutansHeliconia nutans Woodson (Heliconiaceae)
Heliconia nutans Woodson (Heliconiaceae) growing in Chiriqui Province, Panama. This taxon is common in the mountains of eastern Costa Rica and western Panama.
 Hylocereus monacanthusHylocereus monacanthus (Lem.) Britton & Rose (Cactaceae)
Like most species of Cactaceae (cactus) from non-desert areas, this specimen of Hylocereus monacanthus (F.A.C. Weber) Britton & Rose is epiphytic, i.e., grows on the branches of trees. It blooms in June in Costa Rica, at the beginning of the rainy season.
 Hylocereus monacanthusHylocereus monacanthus (Lem.) Britton & Rose (Cactaceae)
Costa Rica has no deserts and most of the ca. 40 species of cacti there grow in very wet areas as epiphytes (on the branches and trunks of trees). This species, Hylocereus monacanthus (Lem.) Britton & Rose, is also an epiphyte, but it grows on the relatively dry Pacific slope.
 Hylocereus costaricensisHylocereus costaricensis (Lem.) Britton & Rose (Cactaceae)
This is the edible (and delicious!) fruit of Hylocereus costaricensis (F.A.C. Weber) Britton & Rose, which is known locally as pitaya. Lamentably and unaccountably, it is no longer common (or even seen) in Costa Rican markets.
 MarcgraviaceaeMarcgraviaceae
A plant in the Marcgraviaceae family, collected in Colombia.
 Meriania hernandoiMeriania hernandoi L. Uribe(Melastomataceae)
Meriania hernandoi L. Uribe (Melastomataceae) growing along the road to Mocoa in southern Colombia, near the border with Ecuador. Bright orange is an unusual color for this family of typically white- to red- or magenta-flowered species.
 Meriania hernandoiMeriania hernandoi L. Uribe (Melastomataceae)
Meriania hernandoi L. Uribe growing along the road to Mocoa. This family is easy to recognize by the striking venation of its leaves.
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