Big Picture: A palm grows in La Candelaria

On these unusually balmy evenings, when the day’s blue skies turn to night, there are few more visually rewarding places to be in Bogotá than the colonial neighborhood of La Candelaria.

Home to so many of the nation’s most emblematic buildings, each with their own pleasing architecture, we too often take these landmarks for granted, always in a hurry to get one bustling plaza to the next. But in the courtyards of former mansions now turned ministries, cultural foundations, restaurants and museums, there are plant varieties that have stood for centuries, such as the palma de cera, Colombia’s national tree.

In the central Andes, the Ceroxylon quindiuense towers over coffee groves reaching heights of up to 60 meters, and best appreciated in strikingly beautiful Valle del Cocora. But in Bogotá, our wildlife generally tends to be underground, populating after hours clubs, and riding the late night TransMilenio. So, it’s kind on the eye, to see that despite urban development, palms still grow in the capital, and a slightly more stumped variety, known as the Ceroxylon alpinum.

Photo by: Richard Emblin