When time and funding permit, each flower (each plant species) will have its own page, and its own PDF, and eventually its own PPT so that professors and students have plenty of material on Guatemala (and Honduras, etc) to study.

Heliconia adflexa, Coban, Guatemala, Hotel Monja Blanca, FLAAR, by Nicholas Hellmuth

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we have recently found and photographed.

Reports by FLAAR Mesoamerica
on Flora & Fauna of Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo
Peten, Guatemala, Central America

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Calliandra houstoniana a fascinating flower


Calliandra houstoniana a fascinating flower

Posted November 4, 2021

Laguna Grande is a lagoon found in the Río Sarstún area. On our first expedition day in October we sailed along the shore to document the species of flora and fauna that inhabit the place. Calliandra (Calliandra houstoniana) was one of the most photogenic flowers we found. This flower is color red and with the air you can see how its stamens fly, that is why it is normally angel hair, old man's beard, angel head, cinnamon stick, cinnamon, coquito or angel grass (names in Spanish).

Calliandra houstoniana is a shrub that grows on the edges of plots and banks of some bodies of water both in the tropics and in temperate parts, in areas with an average annual temperature between 22 and 28 ° C. It is a native plant of Mexico and Central America. This plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, however, its genus is still under discussion as it is also related to the genera Acacia, Anneslia and even Mimosa.

It is used for shade in coffee plantations and in agroforestry systems, as livestock feed, green manure and a source of firewood. The bark is considered medicinal



Calliandra (Calliandra houstoniana) at Laguna Grande, Rio Sarstun, Livingston. October, 2021. Photo by Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR Mesoamerica.

Botanical Description




Up to 6 m high.


Few thin erect branches where it blooms.


Alternate up to 25 cm long, composed of rachis with up to 5 to 15 pairs of secondary axes with narrow leaflets of up to 11mm.


Set of 3 to 5 sessile flowers in the form of a terminal panicle.


Showy red stamens, thicker red style, white miniature petals.

Fruits and seeds

Legumes up to 12cm reddish brown covered with trichomes with oblong, flattened seeds.

Written by Vivian Hurtado & Roxana Leal
Identified Species by Victor Mendoza




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We Thank Gitzo, 90% of the photographs of plants, flowers and trees in Guatemala are photographed using a Gitzo tripod, available from Manfrotto Distribution.
We thank Hoodman, All images on this site are taken with RAW CF memory cards courtesy of Hoodman.
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