Maxillaria tenuifolia is a long time favorite because of its strong coconut scent; it smells just like a Pina Colada. This was species was discovered near Veracruz, Mexico by Karl Theodore Hartweg and ranges from Belize through Nicaragua. Native to tropical America, this genus derives its name fromn the Latin word maxilla which means jawbone.
The Maya named this plant after the Goddess of the Forest and Healing, Ix-canan likely due to the abundant anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties used in treating a large variety of skin ailments. Everything from sores, ulcers, fungus, rashes, burns, insect bites, burns, and bee stings can be treated effectively with this natural plant remedy.
The Capsicum annuum is commonly known as the Christmas Tree Pepper and despite its name “annuum”, which means annual, it is not an annual. This variety of pepper originated in northwestern Brazil near Colombia and though this particular species is edible, it is commonly bred as an ornamental plant since its different colored fruits resemble the bulbs on a Christmas tree.
The height ranges from 8 to 20 cm. The leathery, basket like structure is usually bright pink to pale orange. Despite the smell of Stink horn mushroom usually being considered an unpleasant odor, it is still considered a delicacy in many European and Asian countries where they are readily available in markets under the common name “Devil’s egg”.
One of the interesting oddities of nature is undoubtedly the sheep frog’s ability to confuse those in its surroundings into thinking there is a different animal in its surroundings by making an unusual sound (a sheep like bleat) not particular to its own species (as croaking is the norm for its amphibious cousins). So when you are walking through the tropical rainforests of Belize and hear what sounds like a sheep in the middle of the forest watch your step because you do not want to step on this wonderful oddity of nature.
Peter Lourie, in his book “The Mystery of the Maya: Uncovering the lost city of Palenque” mentions these creatures as well. “Hearing the roar of howlers and the whine of cicadas in the long, hot jungle afternoons in Chiapas, Mexico, is an important part of my research into the ancient Maya civilization,” he says.
The Stemadenia donnel smithi, has a magnetic draw. Not only does the sweet nectar of its large yellow flowers attract butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and bees but its fruits also draw over 22 species of birds (including toucans and woodpeckers) and small mammals such as kinkajous, squirrels, and even monkeys.
Probably the most interesting species to note is the homo sapiens sapiens…
Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Oregano which is scientifically known as Coleus aromaticus benth. This Eurasian herb is a member of the mint family and has a peppery flavor with a mild hint of sage and thyme. If taken in excess, the herb releases a pungent chemical that can numb one’s tongue.
The growth of romantic vacations as a uniquely Belizean attraction has been highlighted again this week with the airing of The Bachelor reality TV show, and this is a welcome trend for Adventure Romance specialists such as Chaa Creek, the eco resort’s spa manager Bryony Fleming said. The 7th episode of the 16th season of The Bachelor began with Bachelor Ben Flanjik and six female contestants arriving in Belize for a holiday that ended with only four women remaining. The Belizean series included Ben and his dates leaping from a helicopter into the famous Blue Hole.
Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Soursop and is scientifically known as Annona muricata. It is a native species to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Northern South America, and is recognized as Guanabana in Latin American countries. This picture was photographed at the Maya Organic Farm on a tree that could have up to forty healthy fruits at a given time.