Costa Rica 2020 - Plants and trees

Garden spider-flower (Cleoserrata speciosa), San Jose



Costa Rica's rich biodiversity also includes trees, plants and wildflowers. Although not a main focus on this trip, I took some photos of trees and plants, and rainforest vegetation from the different regions of the country I visited. Some are displayed on this page. The garden at Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose offered a chance to get images of the local flora. The 10 acres of botanical garden display a variety of tropical plants found in Costa Rica, including heliconias, bromeliads, orchids, and trees.

This page also includes images of plants seen in Tortuguero National Park at the Caribbean Sea, from the Caribbean lowland (around Tirimbina Lodge near Sarapiqui and Maquenque Ecolodge in Boca Tapada), bordering higher altitude (Arenal area), mid-altitude cloud forest (Monteverde), and on the Pacific Coast (around Cerro Lodge).

I have tried to ID the trees and plants, but some of them are almost certainly wrongly named. So keep that in mind. Corrections are welcomed.


Maybe Brazil's White Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens), San Jose


Maybe Brazil's White Angel Trumpet, San Jose

Bougainvillea sp., the plant giving name to the hotel


A partly collapsed Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii), San Jose

Hanging Lobster Claw (Heliconia rostrata), San Jose


Guarianthe skinneri, an orchid, and the national flower of Costa Rica. Called Purple Country Girl or Guaria Morada in Spanish, San Jose

Most likely a Trumpet Tree (Cecropia sp.), San Jose


Bromeliad species, maybe a Guzmania lingulata, San Jose

Blushing Bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae), San Jose. Native to Brazil and typically grown as a houseplant


Probably Bulbine frutescens, San Jose. In case, a non-Costa-rican species

The orchid Fringe-Lipped Dendrobium (Dendrobium fimbriatum), San Jose


Fringe-Lipped Dendrobium, San Jose

Probably Hortensia (Hydrangea macrophylla), San Jose


Probably Giant Crinum Lily (Crinum asiaticum), San Jose

Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata), San Jose


Maybe the fruits of the Milky Way Tree (Tabernaemontana litoralis), San Jose

Acalypha hispida, the Chenille Plant, San Jose


A thorny tree, maybe the Pachote Tree (Pachira quinata), San Jose

Duckweed (Lemna sp.), San Jose


Maybe Dotleaf Waterlily (Nymphaea ampla), San Jose

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia sp.), San Jose


Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia sp.), San Jose

Flame Vine (Pyrostegia venusta), San Jose


Flame Vine (orange). Native to Brazil–Argentina, cultivated in many tropical and subtropical areas worldwide

Blue Ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora), San Jose


African Arrowroot (Canna indica), San Jose

Probably Pink Poui (Tabebuia rosea), San Jose


Pink Poui, San Jose

Maybe the Singapore Graveyard Flower (Plumeria obtusa), San Jose


Tufted Air Plant bromeliad, maybe Guzmania sp.? San Jose

Red Hot Poker Tree (Erythrina abyssinica), San Jose


Maybe Expanded Lobsterclaw (Heliconia latispatha)? San Jose

Golden Plume, maybe Schaueria calicotricha, San Jose


Maybe a Talipariti elatum, San Jose

Maybe the Provision Tree (Pachira aquatica)? San Jose


Chinese-lantern (Abutilon pictum), San Jose

Shaving-brush-tree (Pseudobombax ellipticum), San Jose


Interesting form! Shaving-brush-tree, San Jose

Maybe Mexican Bluebell (Ruellia simplex), San Jose


Bromeliad plant, San Jose

Rainforest vegetation pattern, Tortuguero


Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior), Guapiles. Native to Southeast Asia


Rainforest in Tortuguero National Park


Buttress root of a big tree in the Tortuguero National Park rainforest

Rainforest trees, Tortuguero National Park


Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Tortuguero National Park

Could be a Calathea Plant (Calathea warscewiczii), Tortuguero National Park


Trumpet Tree (Cecropia obtusifolia)? With a Palm Tanager, Tortuguero National Park

Heliconia species, maybe Heliconia wagneriana? Tortuguero


Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata), Tortuguero. Native to Malaysia

Banana, Tortuguero


Hanging Lobster Claw (Heliconia rostrata), Tortuguero

Opened coconut


A fern and a bromeliad? Tortuguero National Park

According to the guide, a Morning Glory, probably Asystasia gangetica, Tortuguero National Park


Canal vegetation, Tortuguero National Park

A bromeliad, maybe Aechmea nudicaulis, Tortuguero National Park


A vine in Tortuguero National Park

Calyptrogyne ghiesbreghtiana, commonly called the Coligallo Palm (I think), Tortuguero


Maybe Sunset Bells (Chrysothemis pulchella), Tortuguero

Carambola, or Star Fruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, Tortuguero


Could be the Star of Bethlehem (Hippobroma longiflora), Tortuguero

A climbing vine in Tirimbina Nature Reserve


Maybe Hawaiian Wood-rose (Merremia tuberosa), Tirimbina Nature Reserves

Powder-puff Plant (Calliandra sp.)? Tirimbina Nature Reserve


Tirimbina Nature Reserve

Maybe Aphelandra scabra, Tirimbina Nature Reserves


Fabaceae species, Tirimbina Nature Reserves

Tree Orchid, Selva Verde Nature Reserve


Shaving Brush Tree (Pseudobombax ellipticum), Tortuguero

A Scarlet-rumped Tanager in a Powder-puff Plant, Maquenque Ecol


Water Snowflake (Nymphoides indica), Maquenque Ecolodge

Primrose-willow, Water-purslane, Water-primrose (Ludwigia sedioides), Maquenque Ecolodge


Ferns and bromeliads, Maquenque Ecolodge

King Kong Heliconia (Heliconia vellerigera), La Fortuna


Orchid, could be another Guarianthe skinneri, La Fortuna

Air plant bromeliad (Tilandsia sp.), Caño Negro


Maybe Brazilian Red-cloak (Megaskepasma erythrochlamys), La Fortuna

Maybe Singapore Gold (Sanchezia nobilis), La Fortuna


Could be the flower of the Pachote Tree (Pachira quinata), Caño Negro

No idea, really, Pl@antNet suggests Couroupita nicaraguensis. Caño Negro


Maybe the palm Attalea rostrata, Caño Negro

Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia patens), La Fortuna


Bromeliad air plants in Caño Negro

Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia), Maquenque Ecolodge


Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia), La Fortuna

Cream Garland-lily (Hedychium flavescens), a non-native species, La Fortuna


A Bananaquit feeding on a Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), La Fortuna

Maybe Bronze-leaved Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum quadriloculare). In case, a non-native species, La Fortuna


Coral Porterweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis), La Fortuna

Lollipop Plant (Pachystachys lutea), La Fortuna


Sore-mouth Bush (Psychotria poeppigiana). La Fortuna. The common name of this flower is Hot Lips / Hooker's Lips, or even more vulgar names ...

Maybe Parakeet Flower (Heliconia psittacorum), La Fortuna


Heliconia species (Heliconia sp.), La Fortuna

Coffee (Cofea arabica), La Fortuna


Strangler Fig (Ficus sp.), Monteverde Cloud Forest

Tree Fern (family Cyatheaceae), Monteverde Cloud Forest


Wet vegetation, Monteverde Cloud Forest

Ferns. With about 2500 plant species in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, it is hard to correctly name them!


Mushroom, Monteverde Cloud Forest

Drymonia conchocalyx, Monteverde Cloud Forest


Lichen in Monteverde Cloud Forest

A bromeliad in the Monteverde Cloud Forest


Tufted Airplant (Guzmania nicaraguensis), A bromeliad in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

A Trumpet Tree (Cecropia sp.), Monteverde Cloud Forest


Pepper (Piper sp.), Monteverde Cloud Forest

Maybe a Boraginaceae, or perhaps a Ruellia sp. (no idea, really), Cerro Lodge


Peacock Flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), Cerro Lodge

Unknown plant, Cerro Lodge Entrance Road


An escapee, the Hibiscus flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Cerro Lodge Entrance Road

Maybe Poui (Handroanthus sp.), Cerro Lodge


Maybe Gumbo-Limbo (Bursera simaruba), Cerro Lodge Entrance Road

Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera), Cerro Lodge Entrance Road


Pl@ntNet suggests Ixora coccinea, Cerro Lodge