On the way to Biolley in the mountains of Costa Rica, my colleague, botanist Judy Stone, pointed out this magnificent specimen of Bursera simaruba, also known locally as indio desnudo, or the “nude Indian” tree. The name certainly derives from its reddish bark and the fact that it’s semi-deciduous, shedding its leaves completely before producing new ones.
The tree is found throughout tropical America, including the southeastern U.S., where it’s called the “gumbo-limbo tree”.
This specimen is nearly in the desnudo stage. Click to enlarge.
The tree has important medicinal uses for the locals, and is used to treat skin problems, digestive disorders, and infections.
I won’t often post single pictures from my trip to Costa Rica (I plan on doing posts with multiple photos), but this magnificent tree didn’t fit in anywhere.