Rainy season flower and fruit walks

CORRECTION: It looked like persimmon flower and fruit, in Las Uvas de San Carlos. However, I am told by a garden expert that it’s actually a Peruvian plant whose fruit are highly toxic. So the earlier version stands corrected.

Flower and fruit walks to brighten an overcast rainy season

photos by Eric Jackson

In Panama the difference in hours of sunlight between the longest and shortest days is minimal, so we have less Seasonal Affective Disorder than in the regions with colder winters. But being indoors on overcast rainy days, for days, weeks and months on end, can lead to some similar effects. You adapt by getting culturally Panamanian about it — viene el agua, and it’s no big deal except for possible flooding and dangerous rivers, streams and storm drains. The umbrella may be useful, but the raincoat is a foreign thing. Just getting a bit wet, and taking cover when the rain REALLY comes down, is the way to cope. And don’t let the puddles keep you from getting out to exercise.

Rainy season and dry season here are unlike summer and winter in other latitudes, no matter the terminology used here. There is no season when everything dies off or goes into hibernation. There are dry season fruits and flowers, and things that pop out in the heavy rains. Some things can’t take all the water, and some things thrive in it. There is beauty and sustenance in all of it, if you know how to look.


A better known and more economically important fruit.




Related to the heliconias, bijaos and bananas, so it seems. Taxonomists may argue.


A hibiscus flower, probably horticulturally improved.




A legume, not particularly edible but pumping nitrogen into the soil.


Another variety of heliconia.


Bird peppers. Toss one or two of these in the oil as you are heating it up to stir fry — IF you like it hot.


An orchid? Some grow in trees, some are terrestrial.


Papayas, fruit to eat alone, nature’s meat tenderizer, and…


Saril, a variety of hibiscus.


A swamp thing.


Another thing that grows by the wetland.


Three of the many shades of ixora flowers.


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