Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Trumpet Tree and its scientific name is Cecropia peltata. It is a tropical, fast growing tree, with a tall ungainly open habitat of growth, which is widely abundant in the tropical rainforest. The local name, Trumpet Tree, comes from a tradition of the Ancient Maya who used the stems to make ceremonial trumpets. The Trumpet Tree grows in Central and South America, the Caribbean and can range up to 20mm in height.
Many of these trees can be found within Chaa Creek’s Nature Reserve and our licensed naturalist guides can easily point them out to you.
The Trumpet Tree has a symbiotic relationship with a species of ants known as the Azteca sp. These ants, which are highly attracted to the tree’s milky latex, live in the hollow chambers of the tree’s trunk. The leaves of the Cecropia peltata are a favorite food for tapirs, monkeys, and deers and the fruits are enjoyed by toucans, tanagers and other species of birds.
The leaves of this tree can be used for medical purposes to treat calluses, skin warts, inflammation and respiratory infections.
In Belize, many people use the leaves to treat high blood pressure, dropsy, and diabetes.
Photo Submitted by Naturalist Guide: Selwyn Bol