2nd Life of Triquitraque!

This Triquitraque or Flame Vine on my back wall usually blooms two months: January-February and that’s it! This January it did not have as many blooms, so I gave it a little plant food and started watering it more when wow! it started growing new vines and blooming much more than in January, so now I’m getting a “2nd Life” of it this year for hopefully all of March-April! 🙂 With more blooms! 🙂

Triquitraque or Flame Vine on my back wall, Atenas, Costa Rica.

And some other views . . .

Continue reading “2nd Life of Triquitraque!”

Six on Saturday

One of the other blogs I’ve encountered because of their “like” of mine was “The Compulsive Gardener” who copied another blog’s “Six on Saturday” garden blogging phenomena with her own “Six on Saturday–A Flurry of Flowers.” If you want to learn more, go to the originator’s blog: The Propagator. Or to his 6 on Sat collection and Participant Guide. I don’t plan to do this every Saturday, but thought it would be fun to do it at least one time to help propagate the idea! 🙂 And ohhh, is it hard to limit myself to just 6! 🙂 But here is 6 of my favorite from My Garden Gallery:

1. Triqui-Traque or Flamevine Closeup

Triqui-Traque or Flamevine

Continue reading “Six on Saturday”

Triquitraque Color

Back home from the latest trip and not all is without color! 🙂

My Triquitraque or Flame Vine is possibly at its peak of blooming now and will soon begin to become a green vine again, most commonly blooming here in just January & February, and possibly the brightest or most color of all my flowers . . .

¡Pura Vida!

For more flowers, my Flora & Forest Gallery.


Why Triquitraque?

Triquitraque or Flame Vine

Triquitraque – One Spanish Name for this Flower

Also called in Spanish: Tango, chiltote, chorro de oro, and San Carlos.

In English, most commonly called the Flame Vine

Translation of Triquitraque = Clatter

As in the clatter of a train going down the track

As in a string of firecrackers popping

As in jumping jack


The first definition of triquitraque in the dictionary of the real academy of the Spanish language is noise as of repeated and disordered blows. Another meaning of triquitraque in the dictionary is those same hits.

So why is this flower called Triquitraque?

I wish someone would tell me! Maybe the scattered bright flowers along a vine reminds someone of a string of firecrackers exploding? Or a visual clatter? Please comment if you know! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Glowing Orange

Triquitraque or Mexican Flame Vine was the name of my article last April when my vine was at its best. This year it seems to be peaking a lot earlier or hopefully it will be for longer! As stated then, “Triquitraque” is the Costa Rica name of this profusely blooming and glowing vine while most Americans call it “Mexican Flame Vine” and now I read online line that in Florida they are actually calling it “Florida Flame Vine.”    🙂

As planned when I planted it around three years ago, it is mostly covering the stark concrete wall behind my tropical garden giving a blaze of color when traveling up or down the hill. My landlord likes it along his driveway! The butterflies & hummingbirds do too! Here’s a couple of views from above and one from the kitchen window through its glare and reflection of my hands and the kitchen sink. When not traveling, I enjoy my gardens!  ¡Pura Vida!

Orange is the happiest color. 

Frank Sinatra

Click image to enlarge:

This sun-loving, evergreen vine is also known as the flame flower or the golden shower. It’s native to Brazil and Paraguay, where it flourishes in rocky scrub habitats and forests that are seasonally dry. It grows quickly, spreading with tendrils; a single stem can be 80 feet (24 meters) long! Its genus name Pyrostegia comes from Greek words for “fire” (pyr-) and “cover” (steg-), and when it flowers in fall and early winter, it is engulfed in spectacular, flame-colored blooms that attract hummingbirds.    ~San Diego Zoo

University of Florida Article on growing Flame Vine 

San Diego Zoo Article on Flame Vine

Report on My “Weekly Post” Survey

Basically everyone who responded to my request for comments are simply very kind and flexible people; meaning I did not get any strong opinions one way or the other and you readers are divided on your interests, so I am probably going to continue mostly the way I have been blogging, with no more pressure to have a daily post, feeling free to skip days every once-in-awhile, maybe several in a row.

I will not legalistically stick to my original theme of “Retirement in Costa Rica” though that is who I am, thus all related! Even the above flowers!   🙂    And I will always strive for better quality writing and photography! I live a “Pura Vida” life here and will continue to report on it, sometimes daily, sometimes every few days or weekly. Since it was flowers today, I’ll do a serious article tomorrow and then back into my usual groove!   🙂   And by the way, if you ever wondered, those 3 “Related” earlier posts at the bottom of each post are not my choices but something the WordPress blogging computer chooses based on subjects and key words. Interesting!f And usually very well related!


Triquitraque or Mexican Flame Vine

The Triquitraque is in 2nd period of blooming
just in time for my visitors coming this week!
Atenas, Costa Rica

Just sorry that most of my others are not blooming this week. But this is colorful!
Atenas, Costa Rica

More Flame Vine Pix

Close-up of an open bloom, Flamevine or TriquiTraque in Costa Rica
In my garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
My favorite shot so far.

At first the blooms are “capsules” or little tubes before opening up.
My TriquiTraque in Atenas, Costa Rica

TriquiTraque looks best when massed on a wall like I have in my garden.
Atenas, Costa Rica

There is not much online about this flower in the way of information. As “Flamevine” the best I could find was at the University of Florida website. When I Google triquitraque it is my blog that comes up in addition to a lot of photos by different people. So I can’t tell you much about them. I did find this page article in a botanical gardens book which is kind of scientific. And I think I have already noted that in Spanish dictionaries triquitraque means “clattering noise” or a “string of firecrackers.”

See also my Costa Rica photo gallery called Flora & Forests

Triquitraque or Flame Vine Blooming for This Year

The brilliant orange flowers of Triquitraque or Flame Vine is a great contrast to the blue Plumbago flowers.
I saturated the color so they’re not really this red, but are a deeper orange than next untouched photos.

If I remember correctly they will bloom 2 to maybe 3 months, February-April. I had hoped for year around blooms like some of my other plants, but this gives me something special for this time of year. And this year they cover more of my stark concrete wall, which is what I wanted! 🙂  ¡Me gusta!


See also my photo gallery Flora & Forests
And read about Flamevine which Costa Ricans call Triquitraque, Spanish for “a string of firecrackers” or sometimes can mean “creaking” or “rattling” in colorful conversations.  🙂

A Walk In the Garden!

Step into my main garden from the driveway or back door of house.
Surrounded by the trees and other flowers of neighbors.
You know you are in a tropical place!

Out my backdoor you are greeted by a pottery bird garden-art by Anthony.
Anthony Jeroski will soon be moving into the house across the driveway since
Don & Lynda just moved back to the states. Anthony & I have plans for
a garden-art bird nest made of wood & wire that will feature a glass egg
made by my Nashville friend Kevin Hunter. I think you will like it Kevin!

Here a garden is really your whole yard and terrace and that is true for me.
With watering during the dry season, my “front yard” jungle has grown,
especially the Cecropia or Guarumo tree, many palms & flowers on a slope.

One is a Nance Tree which by July will have little yellow fruits I can eat! 

Bougainvillea is blooming on my terrace and down below on the slope.
There was not one here when I came and I consider it the quintessential
tropical flower I got used to in Florida and The Gambia. I have two now! 

Once de Abril Planta or 11th of April Plant is what my gardener calls it.
It is becoming very tall and full shrub, adding to my privacy screen and
it blooms year around with seasonal yellow berries that birds eat quickly.
It is one of my favorite plants and was a surprise gift from my gardener.
The 11th of April is Juan Santamaria Day, our only war hero.
He was the drummer boy who stopped the American Walker from taking
over Costa Rica as his personal slave state.
Click image for larger view.

The largest of my 4 Heliconia plants.

The brightest of my Heliconia plants.

The smallest of my Heliconia plants.
And the most prolific of the 4 Heliconia plants.
It greets you at the driveway next to the Plumbago.
Red Ginger is all over my garden & prolific.

Lantanas are my border and called multiple things here. Grow fast!
I have to cut them back regularly or they become shrubs!
That is something like a Florida White Butterfly here today.

A type of Petunia that blooms abundantly every morning, then by
mid-afternoon the blooms have all dropped to the ground.
More the next morning! Year-around. 

Flame Vine in English or Triquitraque in Spanish which
literally means “firecracker” in Spanish
Flame Vine or Triquitraque
Plumbago is beautiful and my most prolific bloomer. My background plant.
But it grows so fast I have to cut it back every few months, losing some color.
But it blooms year-around and especially on the new growth after trimming.

“Crown of Thorns” is what Lynda called it.
I bought at Don & Lynda’s Moving Sale.

Aloe Vera – I’m always ready for burn! 🙂

Sorry I made so many photos this morning! And that is not all of my garden! 🙂  I love it!

And this is very near the end of the dry season, meaning we have had no rain since November. I water most everything every two days. It is work but worth it! I even have green grass which is rare here this time of year. And it has been especially hot this summer or dry season. So my garden has been a lot of work! That is what it takes to have a piece of paradise! As Rudyard Kipling says . . .

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.” 
― Rudyard Kipling, Complete Verse