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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Amazing smelling yellow flower in tropical trees of Panama.

Would you like to be considered a queen? We joke about it right? Queen of the... I wonder what you filled in the blank with there. Do tell.

Well, this little beauty has the stately title of "Queen of Perfumes." She is a Ylang-Ylang tree aka Cananga Odorata, and she is more of an understated Queen, blending into the background, letting her flowers be her crown jewel.

This little flower which blends in so well that it's hard to find, packs an incredible amount of fragrance.  So beloved is her scent that the essential oil of the flower is used in some of the most valuable perfumes in the world - most notably Chanel No. 5.

It's a fun story to tell our guests as they catch a whiff of the flower when we pass by the tree on the way to their room or as they enjoy a siesta from their hammock. Knowing this tree grows relatively quickly, we strategically planted them back in 2019 close to the hotel and restaurant terraces for our guests enjoyment.

Now, 5 years later, they are already reaching the roof of the hotel providing aromatherapy for our guests and passage for monkeys. But the fun doesn't stop there. They are an important food source for pollinators like moths and beetles, and seed dispersers like bats, monkeys, birds, and squirrels.

Native to the Indo Pacific region, they prefer the tropical lowland and lower montane forests so they do thrive here in Panama and because they are sought after for their fragrance, Ylang Ylang has become a popular tree in peoples gardens. Beautiful, smells amazing, provides habitat, food, and also a myriad of medicinal benefits, there's no wonder she is gracing the tropical gardens of the world. 

Speaking of squirrels, both Flora and Fauna have moved out and now call the jungle their home. They do stop by from time to time to check in and let us know they are strong and healthy and loving life. They are now reaching their sexual maturity so hopefully they will soon find mates and bring their little kits by to show them off someday. 

So my Queen, we hope you will share with us just what type of queen you consider yourself and what is your crown jewel? 

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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