Flower Photos from Costa Rica

Enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica by seeing the flowers! There is an astounding variety of species showing many different flower shapes and colors. Going to a tropical garden is a must, and there are many of those here for visitors to see. You can also observe native plants and the variety that exists in the tropical and tropical dry forest regions, like in the Guanacaste province. There you can see several tree species blooming during the dry season. It is also interesting to go for walks in reserve areas to see the different types of flowering plants in their natural setting.

In this colorful article, there are 20 photos and one video that show the amazing variety of tropical flowers that can be found in gardens and the wild. I have even more photos in my Exotic Flowers of Costa Rica article here on HubPages. In the video at the end of this article, there are also photos of several butterflies and moths on the flowers.

In some of the photos, the identity of the flowers and plants are not given because I just don't know the names. It is not because I haven't looked. If anyone can help me in this regard, please let me know in the comments section so I can add more information. Also, If anyone is interested in purchasing copies of these photos, I am willing to sell in a large format, which would be suitable for calendars, wall prints and more. For almost all of the photos below, they are reduced to 800 x 600 pixels from the originals that are large format files. I can do a calendar of the photos as well.

The first section includes plants for which I don't know the names. Most of them are of wild plants found in the forests of Guanacaste province. The settings range from near the volcanoes Miravalles and Rincon de la Vieja, north to a zone near the Santa Rosa National Park, south of Liberia and along the beaches of the Pacific.

Unknown Flowers - Help Me Identify Them!

Taken from the hills above Playa Arellana, a popular surfing beach.
Taken from the hills above Playa Arellana, a popular surfing beach. | Source
Flower from a ground vine that is a common weed, but it is simply elegant.  Photo taken south of Liberia.
Flower from a ground vine that is a common weed, but it is simply elegant. Photo taken south of Liberia. | Source
The exotic flower of a vine that was climbing up the tree whose flower is immediately below.  Photo taken at Las Hornillas crater.
The exotic flower of a vine that was climbing up the tree whose flower is immediately below. Photo taken at Las Hornillas crater. | Source
The flower of a small tree.  The vine tip is part of the plant that made the unusual flower in the photo above.
The flower of a small tree. The vine tip is part of the plant that made the unusual flower in the photo above. | Source

Unusual Flower Types

The odd beauty of these flowers make them fascinating. The pittaya flower is reminiscent of the alien Triffid plants, that were in the 1962 sci-fi film, "Day of the Triffids."

Pitaya (Stenocereus queretaroensis) cactus flower which only opens at night for bats and moths to pollinate.  The fruit makes a delicious cod drink.  Location: Between Caas Dulce and Buena Vista in Guanacaste
Pitaya (Stenocereus queretaroensis) cactus flower which only opens at night for bats and moths to pollinate. The fruit makes a delicious cod drink. Location: Between Caas Dulce and Buena Vista in Guanacaste | Source
Pitaya bud before opening.  It is very common to see pitaya growing on rock walls.
Pitaya bud before opening. It is very common to see pitaya growing on rock walls. | Source
Jicaro (calabash tree, Crescentia alata) flowers.  The jicaro makes gourd-like fruit all along the trunk.  These jicaro gourds can be decorated or used as drinking vessels.  The gourds can get as large as 7-8 inches in diameter, but they are more com
Jicaro (calabash tree, Crescentia alata) flowers. The jicaro makes gourd-like fruit all along the trunk. These jicaro gourds can be decorated or used as drinking vessels. The gourds can get as large as 7-8 inches in diameter, but they are more com | Source
Commonly known as labios de puta (Psychotria poeppigiana), this flower can be found on treks in the wild in mountainous forests and it can also be in tropical gardens.
Commonly known as labios de puta (Psychotria poeppigiana), this flower can be found on treks in the wild in mountainous forests and it can also be in tropical gardens. | Source
Brugmansia suaveolens, which has leaves with psychotropic substances as do other species of this genus. This is a common garden plant.
Brugmansia suaveolens, which has leaves with psychotropic substances as do other species of this genus. This is a common garden plant. | Source
Believed to be Combretum farinosum. This flower, when it is green, is a major source of nectar for hummingbirds.  Found near Quebrada Grande in Guanacaste province.  Ticos call it "cepillo" because it resembles a brush.
Believed to be Combretum farinosum. This flower, when it is green, is a major source of nectar for hummingbirds. Found near Quebrada Grande in Guanacaste province. Ticos call it "cepillo" because it resembles a brush. | Source
Monstera deliciosa flower.  Spathe-type flowers are not unusual, but this one is especially large.  Found on the campus of the University of Costa Rica.
Monstera deliciosa flower. Spathe-type flowers are not unusual, but this one is especially large. Found on the campus of the University of Costa Rica. | Source

Tree Flowers

There are several species of trees that have outstanding blooms, some of which flower during the dry season in Guanacaste. There are others that bloom primarily during the wet season, from June to mid-December. Plantains, on the other hand, bloom year-round.

Costa Rica Tree Flower Photos

An unusually prolific bloom on a malinche tree (royal ponciano, Delonix regia) in Tamarindo.  There are usually scattered blooms mixed in with the foliage.  This leguminous tree makes a bean pod that is almost a meter long.
An unusually prolific bloom on a malinche tree (royal ponciano, Delonix regia) in Tamarindo. There are usually scattered blooms mixed in with the foliage. This leguminous tree makes a bean pod that is almost a meter long. | Source
"Cortez amarilla" tree (Tabebuia ochracea).    The flowers are beautiful, if only for a few days in late February to the end of March.  They have flowers during the dry season when they don't have leaves in Guanacaste.
"Cortez amarilla" tree (Tabebuia ochracea). The flowers are beautiful, if only for a few days in late February to the end of March. They have flowers during the dry season when they don't have leaves in Guanacaste. | Source
"Roble sabana," scientifically known as Tabebuia rosea.  This close-up shows the beautiful detail of the flowers.  Like Tabebula ochracea, it also blooms during the dry season.  This tree usually blooms the first week of February around Liberia.
"Roble sabana," scientifically known as Tabebuia rosea. This close-up shows the beautiful detail of the flowers. Like Tabebula ochracea, it also blooms during the dry season. This tree usually blooms the first week of February around Liberia. | Source
Madero negro, Gliricidia sepium,  Close-up of the indeterminate florescence.  These trees are one of the species used for living fence posts in the country.
Madero negro, Gliricidia sepium, Close-up of the indeterminate florescence. These trees are one of the species used for living fence posts in the country. | Source
Plantain flower.  There are several varieties. When green, it is delicious fried and eaten with bean dip.  When mature, it can be added to soups and sliced and fried to go as a sweet side dish for any meal.
Plantain flower. There are several varieties. When green, it is delicious fried and eaten with bean dip. When mature, it can be added to soups and sliced and fried to go as a sweet side dish for any meal. | Source
A male flower from a Cercropia species.  Male and female flowers are produced on separate trees.  Commonly called the Yagrumo.  These trees have many uses. They also exhibit myrmecophytism, a mutualistic relationship formed with Azteca ant colonies.
A male flower from a Cercropia species. Male and female flowers are produced on separate trees. Commonly called the Yagrumo. These trees have many uses. They also exhibit myrmecophytism, a mutualistic relationship formed with Azteca ant colonies. | Source
Cashew flowers, fruit and nut.  Cashews are called mariñon and you can make a refreshing beverage from the fruit.
Cashew flowers, fruit and nut. Cashews are called mariñon and you can make a refreshing beverage from the fruit. | Source
Plumeria rubra, a native species found in Guanacaste province.  Known as "juche" in Costa Rica and as frangipani in other parts of the world.
Plumeria rubra, a native species found in Guanacaste province. Known as "juche" in Costa Rica and as frangipani in other parts of the world. | Source
"Cañas fistula," scientifically known as Cassia fistula.  Blooms around mid-March in Guanacaste, give or take a month.
"Cañas fistula," scientifically known as Cassia fistula. Blooms around mid-March in Guanacaste, give or take a month. | Source
Flowers that litter the florest floor in late May and June in Guanacaste province.  The tree has broad, heart-shaped leaves and a small green fruit.
Flowers that litter the florest floor in late May and June in Guanacaste province. The tree has broad, heart-shaped leaves and a small green fruit. | Source

Resources for Flowering Plants and Trees of Costa Rica

Tropical Plants of Costa Rica: A Guide to Native and Exotic Flora (Zona Tropical Publications)
Tropical Plants of Costa Rica: A Guide to Native and Exotic Flora (Zona Tropical Publications)

This is the most useful guide for identification of Costa Rican plants. Plants are identified by photographs and there are no botanical keys. Most of the more common plants are found in this book.

 
A Field Guide to Plants of Costa Rica
A Field Guide to Plants of Costa Rica

This book has divisions based on the following categories: tall and small trees, vines, shrubs, grasses and more. on Subsection are organized based on the colors of flowers.

 
Trees of Panama and Costa Rica (Princeton Field Guides)
Trees of Panama and Costa Rica (Princeton Field Guides)

This Princeton field guide to trees of Costa Rica and Panama contains species distribution maps, scientific names, color photos and detailed descriptions. If you want detailed information, this is the book to have on hand.

 

Stunning Photos of Flowers from Costa Rica

Where is Costa Rica?

A markerSan José, Costa Rica -
San Jose, Costa Rica
[get directions]

San José is the capital of this country in the center of this map. Most of the photos above were taken in the northwest part of the country.

See My Other Pages

1. Guanacaste Costa Rica - Mi Tierra, blog about various aspects of Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica, including photos of the natural environment and vacation locations.

2. Ten Tips for Tourists Visiting Costa Rica

3. Costa Rica All Inclusive Resorts

4. Butterfly Photos of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

5. Attractions and Distractions in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

More by this Author

  • Exotic Flower Photos from Costa Rica
    31

    Exotic flowers photos from plants seen primarily around the volcanoes Rincon La Vieja and Miravalles. Locations and identities are given when known.

  • Popular Foods in Costa Rica
    4

    Fruits, soups, rice dishes and popular foods in Costa Rica take advantage of the wide diversity of foods available in the country. Examples enjoyed at home, at parties and in restaurants are given.

  • Can Plants Grow in Sand?
    23

    A review of what needs to be considered when choosing plants and caring for them in sandy soils, including testing, amendments and plant varieties. Sandy soil is also used in hydroponics systems.


Comments 17 comments

hornofhawthorn profile image

hornofhawthorn 5 years ago from Raleigh NC

the psychotropic plant...datura...also known as the green goddess...considered sacred in some cultures.


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

True. There is a good monograph on Brugmansia on the website: http://www.biopark.org/peru/toe.html. But, I wasn't aware that datura was a common name for it. This brings up the point - we shouldn't confuse Datura species, like Datura stramonium, with this species. There is a good website for the comparison between the two in Spanish: http://plantas.facilisimo.com/foros/plantas-y-flor...


Jessie T. Ponce 5 years ago

Very interesting hub. "labios de puta" - what a name for a nice flower, although I can see why. Thanks Randy.


Derdriu 4 years ago

Randy, What an enticing, fascinating, riveting introduction to Costa Rica's colorful, stunning, unusual flowers! The commentary and the photos coordinate well with each other to give potential visitors an inviting look at the country's unique floral output. It's particularly helpful to have the use and wildlife associations, such as savannah oaks blooming in the dry season and plantain food preparation choices.

Thank you for sharing, etc.,

Derdriu


gramarye profile image

gramarye 4 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

Hi Randy,

Beautiful pictures - have you put them on RedGage?


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

Thanks gramarye! I have some flower photos on Redgage, but I am not duplicating content between the sites. For those who want to see my content there, my user name is RandyM.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

What gorgeous flowers! Costa Rica is a place that I would love to visit someday. I was unfamiliar with most of these flowers...so what a treat to see them in your photos. I just started the video. Will have to come back and finish it when I have more time. Would be a pleasant 8 minutes of time spent. Thanks! Voted up and beautiful.


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

Hi Peggy, I am happy you enjoyed my photos. You can see more on Red Gage (RandyM) and guanacastecostarica-mitierra.blogspot.com.


Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 4 years ago from Southwest England

What beautiful pictures, Costa Rica looks like an amazing place to live


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

I find it a very interesting place. There are always interesting things to explore and do.


David! 4 years ago

When is the month with the most flowers on Guanacaste?! I am thinking early March??

Gorgeous pics!!!


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

The tree flowers are more prominent during the dry season, so in early March there are still quite a few blooming, like Malinche, Plumeria and some species of Roble Sabana. There usually are few or no leaves on the trees during the peak of the dry season. Madero negro blooms earlier. The rainy season begins around mid-March, and then it doesn't rain that much, usually afternoon and evening showers. Most of the herbaceous perennials begin blooming in earnest mid-April onward, even pitahaya.


Valene profile image

Valene 3 years ago from Missouri

Beautiful! That one plant that is used as a fence post I think must be a sort of legume, maybe in the Fabaceae family.


Vidwizcit 3 years ago

We accustomed to get at the top of life nevertheless lately I've developed the resistance.


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 3 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

Valene - yes, the Madera Negra is in the legume family. It is surprising to me how many of the trees here in Costa Rica are within this family. Not all of their flowers are amazing, but they are interesting nevertheless.

Vidwizcit - ok, more power to you.


André Lewis 3 years ago

I have been looking everywhere to find the name of the flower that for the first time I saw on Internet. It is the seventh shot in your video.. It looks like an orange ball of about 6 inches across. I found a few in The Quepos area, was growing from a tree. Do you know the name it is amazing...


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 3 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

André - the flower shown in the seventh spot is not 6 inches across, it is rather around 1 inch or so. It is from one of several trees, both small and large, that are in the legume family that can be found in Costa Rica. These flowers are very much like that of the mimosa. Do you have a photo?

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