Cortes tree - shower of gold
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Thursday May 21, 2015

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Cortes tree - shower of gold

The Cortes or iron wood tree in full glory.

Every year, when the "Cortes" (Tabebuya guaycan) or (Handroanthus chrysanthus) flowers, I have to take pictures, just can't resist.

From Mexico to Belize and South America, this tree is beloved for its eye-catching yellow crown that punctuates lowland forest landscapes from March through May.

Cortes is often used for construction due to its hard, insect-resistant timber. The species is fairly drought and salt-tolerant – it is also a desirable ornamental shade tree.

The flowering season for cortes comes to an end as the rainy season gets underway.

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 – Cortes amarillo or the yellow Cortes 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 "Cortes" in Central America - and a lot more 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 Cortes 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.

This #TreeTuesday we are highlighting the Cortes tree . From Mexico to Belize and South America, this tree is beloved for its eye-catching yellow crown that punctuates lowland forest landscapes from March through May. Cortes is often used for construction due to its hard, insect-resistant timber. The species is fairly drought and salt-tolerant – it is also a desirable ornamental shade tree. The flowering season for cortes is coming to an end as the rainy season gets underway. Have you enjoyed this display of spectacular color?

Cassia Fistula (Amaltas) or Shower of Gold

Geological places where Amaltas tree grows

It grows natively in the Indian subcontinent and can be found in outer Himalayan region, Gangetic Valley and central and southern India. You also find it in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and Pakistan. In fact, it is Thailand’s national tree and its flower is the country’s national flower.

A cure for constipation

When you have obstructions in the intestine to the passage of stools, eating the fruit pulp helps. It helps ease the passage and relieves constipation. You can also have the tender leaves, cooked and eaten as a leafy vegetable. Mix 5 grams of the fruit pulp with sugar and water. Have this after you have your meal daily. Find natural way to cure constipation at home. This is one of the best cassia fistula medicinal uses.

Eases skin irritation

Cassia fistula finds use due to its soothing effect on the skin. Make a paste of the tender leaves and apply it on the skin in the places where you have an infection, eczema, ringworm’s, or eruptions. This will give you comfort and get rid of the skin ailment within a short time.

You can use it if you have burning sensations, leprosy, or syphilis. Apply the paste of the Amaltas root topically on the areas where you have skin disorders, and you will soon get relief. If you have ringworm affectations, you may get relief with this paste.

It relieves flatulence

When you have digestion problem, or you eat food that produces gas, gas might collect in your stomach and intestines, and this will cause pain. Use the pulp of the fruit to get relief. Make a paste of the fruit pulp and apply this around the navel. You will soon get relief from your gas.

Remove toxins in the gastrointestinal tract

Often, we face the problem of toxins accumulating in the gastrointestinal tract. This might happen due to poor choice of food or due to illness. To remove the toxins, we use the pulp of the cassia pod. Mix 5 – 10 grams of this pulp in hot milk and have it early in the morning.

Fights inflammation

You get relief from inflammation and pain such as gout and rheumatism by having the leaves of the cassia fistula tree. Fry some leaves in mustard oil and have it once daily. For gout, boil the root in milk and have it once daily. This is one of the effective cassia fistula medicinal uses.

Cure for erysipelas

We call this visarpa in Hindi and represent a skin condition like cellulitis. Erysipelas occurs due to a bacterium Group A Streptococcus. You will experience blister-like condition with raised red patches on the skin. Make a paste of the leaves and mix it with equal amounts of ghee. Apply this mixture to the affected parts to get relief.

Treat a chronic cough

The preparation made from the fruit pulp of the cassia fistula tree is good for relieving chronic cough symptoms. Make a mixture of the pulp of the fruit with a few teaspoons of ghee. Have this in the morning and night for two weeks. Your cough will disappear. If people have bronchitis, you can use the paste of the fruit with milk to get relief. Find bronchitis symptoms and treatment.

Treatment for fever

The decoction of Amaltas is useful for treating fever. Prepare a decoction by boiling the leaves of the tree in water. Filter and cool before having it. This will help you get relief from fever. This is one of the best cassia fistula medicinal uses.

It helps diabetics

The Amaltas is useful for diabetics in controlling the sugar levels in the blood. The action of the cassia fistula helps improve the insulin sensitivity and thus helps control the level of sugar in the blood. Learn how to cure diabetes naturally at home.

Useful for colic

You can use it for treating colic in babies. The action of the paste of the leaves is mild and helps relieve colic.

It relieves urinary problems

When people have pain passing urine and can only do so by making an effort, the use of Amaltas helps to relieve the pain. It helps them pass urine with ease. Make a paste of the root of the cassia fistula tree by soaking it in water overnight. Mix this with ghee and have this daily in the morning. This will relieve your distress. This is one of the effective cassia fistula medicinal uses.

Used for cardiac problems

The Amaltas leaves has heart-healthy properties. Prepare a decoction of the leaves and have it morning and evening. It helps reduce the unhealthy LDL cholesterol and makes the heart muscles strong. This improves the heart health.

It has depurative effect and anti-periodic nature

The cleansing nature of the Cassia fistula helps remove the wastes and toxins from the body. Have the juice of the fruit mixed with ghee daily in the morning for the best effect. It helps prevent the periodic recurrence of diseases. This makes it invaluable for those who experience periodic bouts of any infection or ailment.

Helps cure dyspepsia

When you have an upset stomach, it can cause pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. The symptoms include nausea and bloating. You can get relief from these symptoms by having the decoction of the leaves of the Cassia fistula tree.

It has astringent and cooling nature

For people who remain exposed to the sun for a long time, the use of Amaltas helps to keep cool. This is due to the astringent and cooling nature it has. Make a paste of the leaves and mix it with water. Apply this on the head and skin of the person to cool him down. The astringent property helps to make the skin firm and tones it so it looks youthful. There are lot of cassia fistula medicinal uses which you can use to treat your body problems.


In Ayurvedic medicine, the golden shower tree is known as aragvadha, meaning "disease killer". The fruit pulp is considered a purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts. Though it has been used in herbalism for millennia, little research has been conducted in modern times, although it is an ingredient in some mass-produced herbal laxatives.

Top photograph by Betsy Steinmetz, other two by Jan Meerman

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