Plants from Los Llanos : Supporting materials : Notes

Plants from Los Llanos : Supporting materials : Notes

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Plants from Los Llanos : Supporting materials : Notes
Translated Title:
Plantas de Los Llanos: Materiales de apoyo: Notas
Monteverde Institute
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Subjects / Keywords:
Farm buildings
Sustainable Futures 2006
letter ( marcgt )



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University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
M37-00305 ( USFLDC DOI )
m37.305 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Plantas de Los Llanos: Materiales de apoyo: Notas
Plants from Los Llanos : Supporting materials : Notes
c 2006
Farm buildings
Sustainable Futures 2006
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Photos left and right by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Native Shrubs Asclepias Curassavica Asclepias curassavica is also known as blood flower butterfly weed and viboraza. It is a herbaceous plant that us ually does not get taller than 1 m in size. “Flowers usually a ppear in groups of 7-10” have a complex flower structure “wi th a ‘skirt’ made up of 5 red-orange petals, above which is the orange-yellow corona made up of cups and horns, the cups hold the nectar, these surround the stamens and sti gmatic surfaces in the center of the flower” (Zuchowski 20 05:80). This plant produces flowers and fruits year-round a nd in Costa Rica is found “throughout the country, sea le vel 2000m; both slopes, in second growth, pastures, along stre ams, and road sides” (Zuchowski 2005:80). The flowers nectar is important for “a variety of butterfly species,” bee s, wasps and beetles, the plant “hosts aphids and milkweed bugs” as well as monarch caterpillars (Zuchowski 2005:81). Stachytarpheta Frantzii Stachytarpheta frantzii, also known as porterweed, is in the verbenaceae family. Porterweed is a popular garden and hedge shrub in some parts of Costa Rica that grows to 2 m and has a lot of branches. The shrub produces flowe rs and fruit year round. Flowers are purple that have whitish or light lilac throats Porterweed is found in elevations of “200-1300 m, mostly Pacific slope from central region north” and is “a great plant for attracting short-billed hummingbirds, butterflies and moths” (Zuchowski 2005:107)


Photo Courtesy of WikipediaEncyclopedia Photos left and right by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Lantana Camara Lantana camara, in the verbenaceae family, is an or namental shrub that usually grows to 1-2 m but can grow tall er and all parts of the plant have a “pungent odor” (Zuchowski 2005:103). This shrub flowers and fruits year-round. Flowers a re 2-3 cm in diameter and dome-shaped on 6 cm stalks. The buds can be “orange-red (or pinkish), open flowers yellow” while old flowers “orange to red (or pink)” (Zuchowski 2005:103) Flowers also attract humming birds and butterflies. Non-Native Shrubs Bougainvillea (Veranera, Nyctaginaceae) Bougainvillea blossoms are often referred to as the paper flower. The plant is a thorny, woody, vine that flowers. The flowers are small and generally white in clusters of three. The clusters are surrounded by colorful bracts and can be pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white or yellow (Wikipedia Encyclopedia). “Bougainvillea are rapid growing and flower all yea r in warm climates, especially when pinched or pruned. Bloom cycles are typically four to six weeks. Bougainvillea grow bes t in very bright full sun and with frequent fertilization, bu t the plant requires little water to flower. If overwatered, Bo ugainvillea will not flower and may lose leaves or wilt. Bougai nvillea are relatively pest-free plants, but may suffer from wo rms and aphids. The larvae of some Lepidoptera species also use them as food plants including Giant Leopard Moth. There are numerous Bougainvillea varieties and hybrids, inclu ding nearly thornless shrubs. Bougainvillea are sterile and are propagated from cuttings” (Wikipedia Encyclopedia).


Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Photos left and right by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Brunfelsia grandiflora (solanaceae) Brunfelsia grandiflora is a large shrub that is in the solanaceae family, grows to 1.5 m tall and produces flowers th at change from violet to purple to white depending on age. Th is shrub is most impressive when it is in full bloom since flow ers cover a majority of the plant. Flowers are produces through out most of the year but are prominent during the months of Jul y through March. In Costa Rica brunfelsia grandiflora is a “p opular yard plant in full sun at midelevatons” (Zuchowski 2005: 154). Malvaviscus Palmanus (Amapola) Malvaviscus Palmanus is a shrub or a small tree approximately 4 m tall. The tree produces flowers y ear round, but they are more “exuberant during the wet season” (Haber et al 2000:111). Flowers are red and 5 cm in size and have 5 overlapping petals in a pinwheel pattern. “Flowers are pollinated by humming birds b ut Helioconius and clearwinged ithomiid butterflies” also visit the flowers (Haber et al 2000:111). A fruit is also produced by the tree, year round. Fruits are 2 cm i n size with “5 separate spongy lobes changing from white when immature to red-orange when mature and are eaten by prong-billed barbets and emerald toucanets ” (Haber et al 2000:111). Malvaviscus Palmanus are “common in open understory, light gaps, forest edge s and roadsides at 1500-1600 m, and rare in moist ravines at lower elevations” (Haber et al 2000:111).


Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Photo courtesy of the Country Day School Megaskepasma Erythrochamys Megaskepasma erythrochamys is in the Acanthaceae family and is known by the following additional nam es: Sanguinea, red justicia, pavoncillo rojo and Brazilian red cloak. This shrub grows 2-4 m tall and is a semi-wo ody shrub that fruits. The shrub produces white tubular flowers with magenta to red bracts. Flowers are most promin ent during the months September through March. “This is a very showy hedge plant that is prolific” and easy t o grow since clippings root easily (Zuchowski 2005:109). Trees Sapium glandulosum (yos) Sapium glandulosum is a medium to large sized tree ranging in size from 10-30 m. The tree produces small petalles s greenishred flowers which wasps are the most frequent visit ors. During the dry season the tree is leafless for a short tim e. In addition to producing flowers, the tree also produces a fruit w hich attract approximately 22 species of birds. One potential ha zard in using this tree along the trail way is that when da maged, the tree produces a white latex which is “caustic to th e skin and may cause temporary blindness” but the latex can al so be used as a glue (Haber et al 2000:123). Sapium glandulosum is “common in pastures” and occasionally found “in mat ure forest at 1300-1550 m (Haber et al 2000:123). Both trees and saplings make “good pioneer plants” because not onl y are they study but they are “resistant to drought and excess ive sunlight” and do well on steep slopes (The Country Day School 2006).


Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropi cal Plants Costa Rica Citharexylum Costaricensis (dama) Cityarexylum Costaricensis is a medium sized tree ranging from 6-20 m in size with a light brown trunk. The tree produces white flowers during the months of January to May and they are most fragrant at night. The tree also produces fruit in April and June. Immature fruits are orange but turn to a brown-black color when they are mature. The tree grows fast, has a strong fragrance and is “visited by small moths at night and stingless bees during the day. The fruits are eaten by more than 20 species of birds. This tree is recomme nded as a living fence,” not only will it support barbed wire, but its “fruits and flowers help to sustain local wildlife” (Haber et al 2000:93). Citharenxylun Costaricensis is “common in pastures, forest edge, and secondary forest at 1100-1450 m” (Haber et al 2000:93). Cecropia Obtusifolia (Guarumo) Cecropia obtrusifolia, Guarumo is the Spanish name, is a medium tree that is fast-growing. Tree size ra nges from 15-20 m in size and produces wind pollinated “minute flowers on cream-yellow pendant, finger-lik e spikes to 35 cm long and 10 mm in diameter (male inflorescences shorter and more slender)” (Haber et al 2000:53). Flowers are produced all year long but peak from March to May. The tree also produces a fruit that is similar to the flowers, but on thicke r spikes. Fruits are produced April to June, July thr u September, and December and are eaten by “many species of birds and mammals” as well as fruit bats (Haber et al 2000:53). The tree is “common in light gaps, forest edges and pastures at 900 to 1450 m (Haber et al 2000:53).


Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Ocotea Tonduzii “Los Llanos” (Ira Maraon) Ocotea tonduzii is in the Lauraceae family and a co mmon name that applies to many species in this family is aguacatillo or little avocado. The ocotea tonduzii is common in the cloud forest, grows to 30 m and “prod uces erect, 1-seeded, 1.5 cm long black fruits” that are “set in red cupulets” (Zuchowski 2005:298). This is an importan t plant for the resplendent quetzal because they feed on th e fruit during breeding season. In addition, 18 different s pecies of birds also seek out this plant (Zuchowski 2005:298) This tree is “common in mature forest and pastures at 14 50-1550” m as well as on the Atlantic slope. The tree produc es small yellow flowers in dense clusters that barely open. Flowers are produced from February to August and can be var iable from year to year, while the fruits are produced Oc tober through August and peak from March to May (Haber et al, 2000:135). To the left is Ocotea tenera, which is i n the same family as Ocotea tonduzii. Guitite


Photo by Turid Forsyth, Tropical Plants Costa Rica Treelets Boccona Frutencens (Guacamayo) Another name for boccona frutencens is tree celandi ne. Plant size varies from a shrubby treelet to a small tree appro ximately 2-10 m in size, is considered a “fast-growing weedy specie s” and is present in “most gaps in the cloud forest” (Zuchowski 2005: 304). This is one of a variety of plants that grow well in “gaps, ” or open areas “that receive a lot of light and warmth on a sunny day” (Zuchowski 2005:304). This treelet is most common on “road sid es, cut banks, and in old pastures and second growth” and “large l ight gaps in primary forest” from 1300-1500 m (Haber et al 2000:117). The plant flowers most of the year, but flowers are pet alless. Black seeds from the fruit are “eaten by long-tailed mana kins and elaenia flycatchers” (Haber et al 2000:117). Fruits are tan in color and are most abundant March through May.


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