The Ixora Flower – A Flame of the Belize Jungle

‘Burning Love’, ‘Needle flower’ and ‘Flame of the Jungle’ are some of the names used in reference to the Ixora flower. The Ixora belongs to the family Rubiaceae, is a member of the coffee family and is also related to the gardenia.

It is easy to see why this fantastic shrub is the preferred hedge shrub by seasoned gardeners and landscapers as the bright colors contrast wonderfully with the surrounding green vegetation. The myriad of colors (shades of pink, red, orange, yellow or purple etc) appear to burst out of the leaves like an elaborate firework display. Ixora flowers are an important part of the jungle’s biodiversity as you can see hummingbirds and butterflies nourishing themselves and cross-pollinating the flowers, in the evolutionary spirit, while  augmenting their visual appeal . It is also important to note that there are over 400 species of Ixora and in the tropics they are in constant bloom year round.

Flame of the Jungle

Although many analogies can be drawn from this vernacular term, for the Ixora, the one that might best include and encapsulate the Lodge at Chaa Creek, would involve the pivotal moment when two flints collided and ignited that first prodigious flame – a catalyst of our evolution. This was a crucial moment in the history of our race. Just as the establishment of the Lodge at Chaa Creek was an essential moment in Belize’s history.It was the first jungle lodge and has maintained and reinvigorated its commitment to the environment and the community since its inception. It is this very commitment that has catapulted a backpacker’s camp to the Best Resort in Central and South America. And so, out of the jungle emerges this fine example of persistence and will, and also as a testament to that ardent flame that is burning in the human spirit.

And just as a flame’s beauty can be attributed to its constant change as it flickers and burns, in countless forms and hues, one can also attribute the Ixora’s aesthetic appeal to the diversity of its species and intricate designs.

Photography by Naturalist Guide Hilberto Tut.

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