The “Duck Flower (A.grandiflora) is the largest flower found around Belize and the Hamanasi garden. Due to their large size and brilliant colors they make a stunning addition to the Hamanasi grounds. There are 10 unique species found throughout Belize and many are often locally referred to as the “Contribo” or “Guaco” as well as the “Duck Flower”. Many of these species are highly regarded as for their traditional medical use. The flower can often be seen soaking in a bottle of rum at saloons. Taken by the shot for everything from hangovers and flu to flatulence, late menstrual periods, and irregular heartbeat. But users beware, the A.grandiflora species contain Aristolochic acid which the American FDA has announced as a known carcinogen so their consumption is not without danger. Best to look but don’t eat.
For the aspiring gardener, several juvenile butterflies such as the swallowtail and cattleheart butterflies use the Duck Flower as a food source while in the larval stages, so adding the Duck Flower to the garden increases our likeliness to spot these beautiful butterflies. During your visit to Belize ask a Hamanasi garden team member like Nathan to share with you this amazing flower.