Photo by Flora Whittall

The May Tree

Trees are an essential component for living beings. - By Dagmar Reinhard

The May tree (Vochysia ferruginea), also called Botarmetersred sand, barbaleche, cuaruba or cenescudo, is a perennial species. They are trees that reach 30 to 50, in height. Its flowers are very flamboyant, they have a calyx with 5 reddish orange lobes, one in the shape of an elongated and curved spur, and 3 petals of 1 centimeter, and a bright yellow color.

Its fruit is found in green capsules when immature and brown when ripe, with up to 6 seeds per fruit. The seeds arewinged and elongated, with a seminal cover and brown lint. During this summer, along the road from San Isidro to Ojochal, we were impressed with its splendid flowers adorning the canopy of the hills and mountains. Then the view no longer reflects their presence.

Trees are an essential component for living beings, through photosynthesis they transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, an essential element for life on the planet. They regulate rainwater and sunlight thanks to their tree tops, branches, trunks and roots that house all kinds of living organisms.

There are incredible symbiotic relationships between trees and organisms such as insects, birds and fungi. Trees provide fire, shelter, rest, recreation, protection, and above all produce the oxygen, we need to live. Over the centuries, trees have been an important resource for social, cultural, economic and scientific development, vitally accompanying the history of humanity.

On a global level, on June 15, a tribute is paid to these magnificent beings which help purify and refresh the air as well as beautify our landscapes.
In Costa Rica, the Guanacaste tree was declared the National Tree. What do you think if we propose the May tree as a symbol of Costa Ballena?

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