Monday February 26, 2024.

Sunshine in Bloom: The Radiant Flowers of the Yellow Cortez


The “Corteza Amarilla” or Yellow Cortez is now blooming in Las Catalinas and the rest of Guanacaste. This well-known native tree in Central America is recognized for its brief and spectacular displays of yellow flowers and as a strong, tropical hardwood. These trees produce large quantities of yellow flowers nine to ten days after a cooler day in the dry season, normally from January to June.


The scientific name of the Yellow Cortez is Tabebuia ochracea, belonging to the Bignoniaceae family. These trees bloom in synchrony, almost in an explosive manner, producing flowers for only four or five days to attract the attention of local pollinators like bees. The Yellow Cortez has the remarkable ability to bloom multiple times throughout the dry season, with a traditional Costa Rican farmer's legend suggesting that the arrival of rains is imminent after its third bloom.




Traveling through Guanacaste, it is impossible not to be mesmerized by the yellow blossoms that adorn the roadsides, evoking a seasonal allure akin to the beauty of fallen autumn leaves. Capturing this picturesque moment, Emmanuel Rodriguez's photograph above truly captures the essence of the Yellow Cortez in full bloom.