çao, Netherland Antilles: Flora


Fish circle
Fish circle

Curaçao - Flora

Christoffel Park Christoffel Park is a nature preserve located at the northern tip around the island's highest point, Mt. Christoffel. The park is home for numerous plant species (there are about 450 of vascular plant species on the island) including famous manzania tree, called manchineel in other parts of the Caribbean. This tree has rough dark bark and small green leaves. Its fruit and sap are poisonous, and will cause skin irritation if even touched. The tree is especially dangerous during the rain as the water dripping from its leaves can cause burns. The manzania trees grow at the entrance to Shete Boca park near the concession stand. In fact they cast shadow on the concession's tables and benches.
Christoffel park Christoffel park. The famous Divi-Divi trees are characterized by their bent trunks, which always point to the west because the trees yield to the trade winds that blow from east to west across the island.
Turk's cap cactus Turk's cap cactus, scientific name Melocactus azureus. The Turk's cap cactus (Bolcactus in Dutch) has 3 names in Papiamento: Milon di seru ("melon of the hills"), Cabes di indjan, and, most common, Bushi. Taking the cactus from the wild is prohibited by law. The Turk's cap is very difficult to transplant because of its extensive root system.
Turk's cap cactus Turk's cap cactus. Bushi produces little fluorescent pink berries. They are edible.
Shete Boka cacti Shete Boca park. The nopal or so-called "leaf" cacti with broad, flat branches (tuna and infrou) are growing in abundance all over the island.
Shete Boka datu Of all the cactus species found on Curaçao, columnar, or pillar, cactuses are the most common and can grow to be 19 feet (6 m) tall. Many cacti bear fruit and flowers during the dry season, providing critical food sources for bats, birds, and other animals. The most common are the candelabra shaped kadushi and the straight datu. This is datu cactus. Datu's lightweight wood is used for making kite frames.
Shete Boka Kadusi growing on the roof of the building near Salina on Caracasbaaiweg.
Shete Boka Hardy Prickly Pear or Prickly Pear or Prickly Pear Cactus or Devil's Tongue (Opuntia humifusa). This low-growing and slow-spreading cactus is edible.
Shete Boka A variety of acacia (wabi) species inhabit the island. They make very dense viciously prickly shrubbery making some parts of the island inaccessible without a machete.
Shete Boka "Reef banana". This miniature creeping plant thrives on sun-baked ocean-sprayed rocks in places such as Shete Boca park and Klein Curaçao. The leaves can be used in salads, no salt required, because they are naturally salty and taste like pickles.
Shete Boka This tree-like cactus or cactus-like tree, probably, belongs to order Acanthocereus. It is huge. If you recognized the species please give Nemose a tweet (on Twitter).
Shete Boka January rain on Caracas bay. This kind of rains brings new life to plants that were struggling in dry summer months.
Shete Boka This rain started right before the wedding ceremony was planned to begin. Nobody was worried, however - the rain lasted about 15 minutes and did not ruin the wedding.
Shete Boka Cacti dominate the Curaçao landscape.
Shete Boka Cacti and prickly shrubbery protect access to bat caves.
Shete Boka This beautiful tree remained unidentified. If you recognized the species or local name, please give Nemose a tweet (on Twitter).




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