The Maquilishuat: El Salvador's national tree

Maquilishuat tree

During the last week of February, El Salvador's national tree, the maquilishuat, burst into bloom all around the country.  Its pink and white flowers adorned yards and roadsides and parks.   In the depths of the dry season when the countryside is dry and brown, the maquilishuat brings a splash of beauty in the weeks leading up to Semana Santa.

The scientific name of the maquilishuat is Tabebuia rosea.  In other parts of the world it is known as the "pink poui", and "rosy trumpet tree" and "roble de sabana".  The tree is predominantly found in subtropical dry forests, is common in Central America, and can grow to a height of 30 meters.  

According to El Salvador's environment ministry,  the maquilishuat has ecosystem relevance since its flowers attract a variety of pollinators, such as bees and hummingbirds.  Its seeds are a source of food for various species of birds and mammals.

Some maquilishuat trees along the streets in San Salvador:

Photo credits: Linda Muth 2024

The exuberance of the trees this year caught the attention of President Nayib Bukele, prompting him to tweet:

The Maquilishuat.
 I have never understood why the city is not full of these trees. It is our national tree, a native species; It is also beautiful and fits perfectly into the ecosystem.
Minister @RomeoHerrera1, we should fill the city with these trees.

And because presidential tweets must be complied with immediately:

We have begun the transfer of Maquilishuat trees.