Sunday, February 21, 2010

gumba limbas

Beautiful gumba limba trees (Bursera simaruba) in Paya Bay's Tropical Garden Reserve. These trees are easy to spot with their red, smooth, peeling, paper-like bark. Mainland Hondurans call this tree "indio desnudo" (naked indian), a name that coincidentally goes with the whole Zone 3 theme.  Local tour guides like to joke that it is the "tourist tree," an association of the peeling bark with the red, peeling skin of sunburned tourists. By the way, the thin, smooth, constantly peeling bark is an evolutionary adaptation that keeps epiphytic (air plants) or parasitic plants from attaching themselves to the tree.

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