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Exotic Fruits of Mexico

This list of exotic fruits and the short description of each fruit, along with photos so that you will know what you are looking at while shopping in the markets, will get you started.  I will add to this list during subsequent issues, with the latest fruits highlighted at the top of the list. Note:  When asking for these fruits…

In Bloom: Clavellina (Shaving Brush Tree)

While driving through the residential zone in Rincón de Guayabitos on May 13th, I was surprised to see a Shaving Brush Tree tree prominently displaying these large cotton-like puffs. The bright pink flowers had already bloomed and fallen off, and the puffs seemed to have taken their place.   Upon closer inspection, the cotton…

In Season: Cuastecomate (Calabash Tree) / Fruit Used to Make Huichol Maracas

I have always been enamored by the native Huichol Indian artwork sold here in Nayarit, Mexico – from the intricately beaded jewelry and masks, to the colorful yawn paintings. I have purchased several pieces over the years and display them throughout our home. Many years ago, I met a lovely old Huichol woman who was selling handmade…

In Bloom: Lluvia de Oro (Golden Shower Tree)

Up until last week, I had only heard rumors about the infamous Lluvia de Oro tree. While driving from La Peñita to Rincón de Guayabitos, I noticed three bright yellow trees on the west side of the highway. Knowing that the Primavera trees were finished blooming, I suspected I might be in luck. Lluvia de Oro, also known as…
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In Season: Nopal Cactus (Prickly Pear)

Nopal cactus are members of the Opuntia genus from the Cactaceae family, and are commonly known as the Prickly Pear cactus. There are dozens of varieties and well over 200 species. They grow throughout Mexico and the southwestern United States and are known for their nutritional and medicinal properties. It is interesting to note…
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Real Mexican Vanilla

The unseasonably rainy days have given me time to complete some research on vanilla that I started some time ago. I explored vanilla and its many uses as well as some authenticity issues. I have provided some links for those who are interested in learning more. I’m sure you’ll agree, it is a very “delicate” subject. The vanilla…

Hiking in the Nayarit Jungle amongst Naranjilla, Cacao and Flor de Jamaica

You never know what you'll discover when hiking through the jungles of Nayarit, Mexico. On this particular day, we decided to explore the towns of El Monteón and Punta Raza (by we, I am referring to my husband David and I). We were curious to see what was happening at the new Punta Raza development. The entire property was fenced off…

In Bloom: Flor de Nochebuena (Poinsettia)

Poinsettias, or Flor de Nochebuena, are readily available beginning the first week of December. Locally, you can find them at the Tianguis market in La Peñita and at both viveros (nurseries) near La Colonia. The viveros typically have a large selection of beautiful poinsettias including the three different varieties shown below... Poinsettias…
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Clavellina: Nicknamed "Shaving Brush Tree" for Obvious Reasons

The Shaving Brush tree is native to southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It is one of the first trees to bloom in Jaltemba Bay early February and March. This deciduous tree with succulent stems is a member of the Hibiscus family (formerly BomBax family) and is called Clavellina in Spanish. The blooms of the Shaving Brush…

In Bloom: Amapa Trees

Amapa trees are only in full bloom for a few weeks between mid-March to mid-April. If you are in the Jaltemba Bay area during this time, one of the best places to view these trees is near the tennis courts on Avenida del Sol Nuevo in Rincón de Guayabitos. There are approximately a dozen trees lining the street and tennis courts,…

In Bloom: Primavera Tree

Primavera (pronounced pree-muh-VEHR-uh) means spring in Spanish, and you know primavera has finally arrived when the vibrant yellow flowering trees by the same name start to bloom. These large showy trees have impressive clusters of flowers that mask their bare branches and create a sea of brilliant yellow against the sky. A great…

In Bloom: Springtime Blossoms

Ahhh, springtime... when the weather gradually warms up and nature comes back to life. To celebrate spring, we'd like to share a few stories and photos from past issues that feature some of the most beautiful trees and flowers with springtime blossoms in the Nayarit area.   Arbol de las Orquideas (Orchid Tree) The fragrant flowers…
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Plaga in My Garden

If you have this in your garden, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. As far as I know, it is called PLAGA. It came into my garden in La Peñita from a local nursery. Within 5 days of re-planting over 15 pots of a 40 pot project with salvia the little blue flower, I walked out to find those 15 COVERED WITH THIS STRINGY YELLOW ANGEL HAIR PARASITE. My new…
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Mound of Mud in a Gringo Tree

When my husband and I have friends up to our casa near El Tonino for the first time, after admiring the view, the first two questions they inevitably ask are, “why is that pile of mud in a tree” and “what kind of tree is that?” The answers are simple, but each one has a story attached. The answer to the first question is “that…

In Bloom: Plumeria (Part 2)

Updated May 6, 2014 - After posting In Bloom: Plumeria (Part 1), I discovered this gorgeous, albeit very dusty, bright pink Plumeria (shown above) in the hills of La Peñita. It is one of the tallest varieties I have seen, measuring at approximately 12-14 feet tall. I spotted these two beauties (shown above) while on a tour of…

In Bloom: Plumeria (Part 1)

Updated May 6, 2014 - Plumera, also known as Frangipani and Flor de Mayo, is native to Mexico. In the Jaltemba Bay area, they bloom in the spring and their beautiful fragrant flowers range from white and yellow to pink. They are deciduous plants so they drop their leaves in the fall and winter months. If you see a Plumeria during the…
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Beetles are Killing the Palm Trees in Jaltemba Bay

For anyone who has palm trees on your property, you need to know that they are all in danger of infestation from the Picudo Prieto or Mayate Prieto (Black Palm Weevil). For the past few weeks, Sarah Walker and I have been been researching information about this destructive beetle which recently killed two large Bismark Palms on Thomas…
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All Palms are in Danger

I am writing this to all of you who have palm trees on your property and especially the blue fan palm known as the "Bismark Palm". Many of you have been on Thomas Bartlett's property and have been impressed with the most beautiful Bismarck Blue Palm, and hundreds of you have had your pictures taken in front of it over the past 6 years.…

In Bloom: Primavera and Amapa Trees

Primavera The Primavera tree of the genus Tabebuia is also called Ipe or Trumpet tree and blossoms shortly after the pink Amapa tree (see below). Both are such gorgeous harbingers of spring it's hard to decide which I like more. This yellow specimen is in front of the Vivero Villanueva beside the La Colonia Pemex gas station. The 3 to…
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Spring Lilies

As I was packing up my things to move out of the park, I took a minute to photograph these flowers to share with you. I have had this plant for a few years and it only blooms in the spring. by Lyle Brown View more plants in bloom under the Flora & Fauna category. This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors.…

Orchid Farm Tour: Beautiful and Educational

The itinerary for this private Orchid Farm tour had our group of 12 people from Guayabitos gather in San Pancho where we met up with Nicole, the tour organizer at Entreamigos, a local community education center. She gave us an informative overview of their facilities (recycling and more!), then we boarded a van and headed back up the…

In Bloom: Arbol de las Orquideas (Orchid Tree)

Orchid Trees have fragrant flowers that come in shades of magenta, lavender and white with five irregular and slightly overlapping petals that bloom abundantly from February-March. While the flowers resemble orchids, the Arbol de las Orquideas (genus Bauhinia) is not actually part of the orchid family, but rather from the pea/bean…

In Bloom: Llamarada

A few weeks ago, we packed up the pups and went on a short day trip. Towards the end of our excursion, we decided to explore the road to Loma Alta just south of Las Varas. We drove for nearly 20 minutes, but the rough and very narrow road didn’t seem to be headed anywhere anytime soon so we turned around. On the way back to the…

In Bloom: Tabachín

It’s nearly impossible not to notice the absolutely gorgeous brilliant reddish-orange flowers of the Tabachín trees dotted throughout the Jaltemba Bay area. The flowers start to bloom near the end of May and have five petals, one of which has distinctive white and yellow markings. The Tabachín is also known as Royal Poinciana…
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In Bloom: Shaving Brush Tree

The “Shaving Brush Tree” is native to Mexico and a large deciduous tree which is coveted for its unique brush-like flowers which bloom just once a year, usually in February or March. The leaves are also very unique. by Christina Stobbs (originally published in “Magical Moments” on Magical Los Ayala) View more plants in…