Cel­e­bra­tion time with the Ayuque tree

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In Mex­ico and parts of Cen­tral Amer­ica, you might find your­self cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas with an Ayuque tree ( Balmea stormiae).

This is na­tive to the re­gion, with bright, scar­let flow­ers. Now un­der threat from over-har­vest­ing, it is ironic that the tree was orig­i­nally pro­moted as an al­ter­na­tive to young conifers, so many of which were be­ing cut down for dec­o­ra­tive sea­sonal use that laws had to be made to pro­tect them.

How­ever, the Ayuque tree it­self has now be­come so pop­u­lar, that it is listed as an en­dan­gered species.

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