Sterculia apetala -Panama Tree

Annona spraguei

Annona spraguei is endemic to Panama and endangered in the wild. I have collected seed from wild stands in Soberania National Park, outside of Panama City in Central America.

The fruit is about the size of a fist, with a sweet edible pulp and numerous seeds. The fruit looks like a smaller version of Biriba (Rollinia deliciosa) only smaller with thinner, longer protuberances. 

Psidium Cattleianum - Strawberry Guava

Native to Brazil, Cattley Guava was brought to China by the Portuguese. From China it was introduced into Europe where it is known as Strawberry Guava, it can also be found cultivated in the Mediterranean, Hawaii, Florida, California, Mexico and throughout Central America. P. cattleianum is a very attractive shrub, however it can grow up to eight m in height. The leaves are dark brown and somewhat glossy, the bark is shiny and peeling. The fruit are 3-4 cm in diameter, considered by many to be the best species of guava. There are red and yellow varieties.

The Strawberry guava is rich in vitamin C and contains 4.5% sugar, 6% fiber and 1.1% protein.


Euphorbiaceae, Phyllanthus niruri (amarus), Stonebreaker, Chanca Piedra

This is one of many plants found growing wild all around Panama City which are of particular interest to me. Many people assume that plants such as these are useless "weeds" based purely on the fact that they are prolific and do not rely on human cultivation in order to propagate. As it turns out (and not surprisingly), many of these plants have a wide range of medicinal properties and were probably much more commonly used in the past for such attributes. Stonebreaker is a small, low growing herb that volunteers itself at the base of potted plants in my nurseries, and basically in any other area where soil has been disturbed or remains bare. The plant is called Stonebreaker because it is used to remove kidney stones and gall stones. Additionally it is used against viruses, bacteria, fever, and as a diuretic. It is also used as a pain reliever and to treat stomachache, constipation, diabetes, dysentery, flu, venereal problems, jaundice, malaria, and tumors.