Forest Speaks


Tabebuia guayacan, the Guayacan tree, usually produces big yellow flowers in March or April, with the first rains at the end of the dry season. Above, you see the crowns of several trees that stand out above the forest like big flowers in a field of grass. Below, the flowers on the forest floor provide a clue to events high above in the treetops.

Guayacan Tree

Prioria seeds are produced two times per year.








Jim Dalling, STRI postdoctoral fellow, places these huge seeds in trays of soil in the greenhouse to find out how long it takes for them to germinate.

For Jim and his assistant, Katia Silvera, to collect seeds, they need to know at what time of year the seeds are produced and when they will fall to the ground.

Some trees produce new leaves all year round. Others produce new leaves in a single "flush". These baby leaves have a red pigment that helps to protect them from organisms that would like to eat them while they are still young and tender.








Dipteryx trees flower from May to August and are one of the only trees to produce fruit in the early dry season (January). Animals such as squirrels may starve if Dipteryx does not produce enough seeds.