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The Kibrahacha Tree

Bonaire’s nature never fails to impress when the Kibrahacha blossom–it is one of the most spectacularly flowering trees that anyone will see on Bonaire.

Normally, it’s a very drab looking tree, but once in a great while, when conditions are just right, the kibrahacha breaks out in an overwhelming display of yellow, blanketing Bonaire’s leeward hillsides with a blaze of color.

The kibrahacha tree needs just the right conditions to blossom.

The kibrahacha tree, or yellow poui (tabebuia billbergii), needs just the right conditions to break into blossoms.  Generally, the tree will bud with yellow blossoms after a long period of drought, and after the second rain has fallen.  Then, from Washington-Slagbaai National Park in the north, all the way to Kralendijk, one can experience the golden hues of this spectacular tree along Bonaire’s leeward hillsides.

Within just a few days after rain, the kibrahacha break out in buds.

It takes about a day or two for the blossoms to fully open, bathing the tree in a mass of yellow.  Bees, in record numbers, collect the pollen.

But the glory is short-lived.

Within a day or so of opening, the blossoms begin to fall to the ground, creating a “snow” of yellow and a yellow carpet.  Near-by cactus spines catch the blossoms as they fall, creating yellow-hued cacti to enjoy as well.

Since the kibrahacha require a long period of drought, it’s not guaranteed that the trees will blossom every year, as continuous amounts of small rainfall will keep them in the normal drab appearance.  But once they do bloom, the trees show how alive they really are.

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