Cortez tree - shower of gold
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Thursday May 21, 2015

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Cortez tree - shower of gold

The Cortes or iron wood tree in full glory.

We drove from Sittee River to SL yesterday (April 18) and saw so many of them coming into gorgeous bloom. What a glorious drive that is-I love seeing the changes in the trees and vegetation as the year progresses. I've noticed the blooms come and go so quickly! I have also seen these beauties in Cayo in the wooded areas.

They break out all over the jungle mid April each year. The magic only last for a few days. Tabebuia ochracea Cortez amarillo or the yellow Cortez tree. Lots of them in Toledo, flowers in May-June. Grafted will flower in two years but from seed maybe four or five years? There is at least 8 different yellow "Cortez" in Central America - and a lot more in S.A.in Belize 2 do not remember the name of Northern specie, but most common in central and south Belize is Tabebuia guyacan. The Belizean summer gold project is to plant 100000 of these trees over a 10 year period along our highways. Imagine the treat from mid April to mid may with the Cortes tree.

These trees seem to prefer lots of rain, limestone soils and slopes. Don't do too well in dry flat areas so since rainfall in the north is about 1/4 of what it is in the south, it may not do so well all over the country. The Cortez has been sporadically blooming since early March and generally peaks in April with a few stragglers into mid May. June and July belong to Yemeri, which is a better choice since it will bloom for several months in summer and tolerates a wide range of soil types and rainfall.

Photograph by Betsy Steinmetz

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