Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Provision Tree

PROVISION TREE, Pachira aquatica, BOMBACEAE

Now that we are well into dry season (sort of like "spring" Belize-style), many plants are starting to blossom and the one pictured above is a favorite. The provision tree blossoms are spectacular, larger than your hand and very showy. The provision tree is most often found along waterways, swamps and wetlands. This particular tree was about 20' in height although provision trees can attain a maximum height of 60' or so. A large nut is produced that is evidently edible though we've never tried it. The nut is water dispersed and floats to a new location where it germinates. Many plants in Belize are considered to have medicinal value. In the case of the provision tree, it is thought that making a tea from its bark helps to build the blood.

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