Amazing Plants from Costa Rica – Part 2

This blog post follows on from Amazing Plants from Costa Rica – Part 1 and gives you a flavour of the weird and wonderful botanical treasures that I saw on my trip. I felt there were so many incredible plants that I saw on my trip and really wanted to put them all in a blog, but it would have been much too long as a single post! Here are the remaining highlights from my trip:

1. Heliconia

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To us in the UK, heliconia are exotic houseplants that may or may not grow even in a hot and humid greenhouse. In Costa Rica they grew everywhere and the plants were enormous! I did wonder if they are related to banana plants, the leaves are almost identical, but their vivid red and yellow flowers always gave themselves away.

2. Coffee

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Costa Rica exports a lot of coffee. They can’t compete on price at the lower end of the market so choose to make exceptional coffee at a higher price instead. We visited a plantation and it was really interesting to see it being grown on the trees. The fruits in the pods above have three layers of shells which all have to be removed in different processes to get to the actual coffee beans themselves.

3. Amazing leaves

I mentioned in Part 1 of this post about the different colours in the foliage of the plants but the shapes of the leaves was equally impressive. Many of the leaves on the plants are huge and have such variety in their shape and texture. I definitely have a better appreciation of how leaves can enhance a garden after having been on this trip.

This is also a good excuse to get in a picture of the blue jeans frog.

4. This beautiful flower

Unfortunately I don’t know the name of this, please let me know in the comments box if you do. These gorgeous flowers were planted all over the towns and hotels to brighten them up, in various shades of red and pink. The petals are almost like leaves on the flowers in Costa Rica, much more solid and waxy than the delicate petals in the UK.

5. Sensitive plant

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I have a bit of an obsession with sensitive plants. I got one as a child and was amazed by it, but it died and I was never able to find a replacement. Then about six months ago, I found one in a garden centre but that also died. Just before I went on holiday I bought some sensitive plant seeds with the intention of trying to grow them that way. Then whilst I was away, we visited a national park called Sarapiqui where the sensitive plants dominated the edge of the roads, growing en masse as weeds. I understood then why mine died, the hot and humid climate was the polar opposite of the grey windowsill spot that my plant had been given!

6. Chilli plants

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Well this chilli plant in particular. The reason being it had so many different colours of chilli all on the same plant: red, orange, yellow, white and purple which I thought was really beautiful. I think this plant in particular looks like this variety so I might give them a go next year.

7. This spiky plant

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To finish off I’ve added this plant. I have no idea what it is, but I have never seen such a combination of delicate pretty flowers with such lethal spikes on the stems, you wouldn’t want to fall on it!

This weekend I need to get back to progressing with my own garden, it’s grown so much whilst I was away and needs not only tidying but progressing. Fingers crossed the sun stays out and we have a bit of Costa Rican weather this week!

Jen

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