Bignoneaceae: Spathodea campanulata
This member of the Trumpet vine family, Bignoniaceae, is one of the few trees with large-showy flowers that blooms at the height of the rainy season. "Llama del bosque," the very appropriate spanish common name of this plant means "forest flame." Although the species is widely cultivated and native to Africa, individuals persist and when growing in or at the edge of secondary forest, may seem part of the natural vegetation. In late November and early December, at the tail end of the flowering season of Spathodea, another bright orange-flowered tree, Erythrina poeppigiana, is just beginning to bloom.
© Barry Hammel 1996