It’s a Wonderful World of Plants

Donna Porter

Donna PorterIt's a Wonderful World of Plants

Renewing Respect for Red Hibiscus

My heart goes out to the Red Hibiscus; a plant that seems as though here in Costa Rica has lost respect and gained un-popularity through overuse and abuse. It is machete- massacred probably worse than any other plant around, and can no longer lay claim to even its very own spot in a garden or landscape other than being shoved into an overcrowded hedge. Sadly, it appears as though its only purpose here in Costa Rica is to provide a living screen between neighbors or other unsightly nuisances. This world- renowned, sacred to some, plant has been belittled, de-throned and Insulted and I would like to shed some light upon the Red Hibiscus in hopes that it will spark a new found awareness and appreciation for this unsung beauty.

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Donna PorterIt's a Wonderful World of Plants

The Bold, Boundless, Bizzare Bromeliads

The plethora of topical plants found within the borders of Costa Rica is truly one of the wonders that captivates its visitors and residents alike. It is amazing to discover the variety of places that a plant can actually situate itself and call “home”. I am sure anyone who pays any attention to our natural landscape, has been awed by the sight of seemingly hundreds of loosely vase-shaped plants nestled and dangling amongst the branches of some trees. At first observation one may think that this greenery is part of the actual tree, when in fact it is not. These are our native epiphytic-wonders called Bromeliads and there are an estimated 200 native species of Bromeliads alone in Costa Rica.

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Donna PorterIt's a Wonderful World of Plants

Watering

Summertime is upon us in the tropics and that means hotter temperatures and weeks and/or months void of the cooling, refreshing, life-giving rains. To any gardener, be they home-gardener or professional, this can only mean one thing – water, water, water. Visitors who have spent time in Costa Rica in our rainy season, may find it hard to believe that watering is a necessity here, but the natural cycle of the rainforest does include a dry period for flower and seed formation of the natural vegetation. This is why the native vegetation/indigenous plants can withstand these dry times, moreso, than the imported, exotic species.

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