Hot Lips, Psychotria poeppigiana

All above photos by Bob Thomas, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Stann Creek District, Belize, May 2003.

Photo by Kevin Zansler, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Stann Creek District, Belize, May 2012.

One of the first flowers everyone learns in the Neotropics is Hot Lips, a species of the Rubiaceae.  It is a requisite that one places them in the mouth and poses for a photo!  They are abundant along trails in the rainforest.  The flowers are yellow and are in the center of the red bracts (that most think are the flowers, but actually function in attracting hummingbird pollinators).  The fruit are a beautiful royal blue.

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