Costa Rica’s national flower is the Guaria Morada, a purple bloom with a trumpet-like shape and several surrounding petals. The center of the Guaria Morada is often yellow or a darker purple than the petals.

Technically, the Guaria Morada is an epiphyte, and it once grew on trees in the Pacific region and in areas of lower elevation. Several generations ago, Costa Ricans cultivated Guarias Moradas in their own gardens, and typical Costa Rican houses often had a profusion of these beautiful flowers draped over their tile roofs and garden walls. However, because of over-cultivation and overexploitation, the Guaria Morada grows wild only in limited areas now.

Visitors to Costa Rica can see the Guaria Morada in national parks and botanical gardens. Costa Rica’s old five Colón bill also has an image of the Guaria Morada among its other intricate designs.

The Guaria Morada grows in all of Central America, although it is most abundant in Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Writing and editing by Beaumont Hardy Editing.