Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the March 27, 2011 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Here during the last weeks of the dry season a surprising number of plants are flowering. I'm guessing that the wisdom behind it is this: Flower now to have seeds ready to germinate when the rains return in May and June.

Nowadays one of the most conspicuously flowering shrubs or small trees at shady woods edges is one with tortilla-size leaves and panicles of thimble-size, white flowers at the ends of branches, as shown above..

Mature blossoms have five brown-anthered stamens extending from their cuplike corolla tubes and alternating with the five petals, as you can see below:


If the leaves and flower anatomy hadn't cued me to this plant's family, those curious brown, bruise-like marks on the white corolla would have provided a strong hint. It happens that flowers in the Borage Family, the Boraginaceae, tend to bruise just like that. In fact this is a Borage Family member, a Bourreria, probably BOURRERIA PULCHRA, about which not much information can be found on the Internet.

The species is favored by local Maya beekeepers because it's regarded as an important source of pollen and nectar.