I love my country more than I have words to tell. Surrounded by beauty and nature I have always felt blessed to be where I am. Many people do not realize how diverse Costa Rica is. To give you some idea is the goal of todays blog entry.
Costa Rica hosts more than 9000 identified species of plants including over 900 different species of trees, and more are being discovered every year! Sub-alpine dwarf vegetation, rainforest flora, mangrove swamps, cloud forest, and seasonal dry forest with its deciduous trees, there are an amazing range of habitats for a country so small.
In the cloud forests plants abound which are specially adapted to absorb moisture directly from the clouds and mist in the air. It is from these huge misty forests that Costa Rica’s abundant water sources come from. Epiphytes are plants which live on trees in order to reach the sunlight. They also abound in these forests adding to the water-gathering ability of the trees. Epiphytes are not considered parasites; they feed off water and dust and nutrients which accumulate around their roots.Costa Rica has over 1,800 species of orchids, most of them are epiphytes. Costa Rica provides much of the world’s supply of orchids. Other examples of epiphytes include bromeliads with over 200 species found here. The epiphytes, treetops and vines create a canopy that preserves the moisture within the forest, and also provides a home for many small animals and insects that live their whole lives in the canopy, never touching the ground. The cloud and rainforests of Costa Rica comprise some of the world’s most complex ecosystems.
photos from the Botanical Orchid Garden
In the Pacific swamplands there are six different species of mangroves. They join the marine flora and fauna to form their own diverse ecosystem.
Our country for being so small has incredible diversity the likes most of the world can only dream of!