Nothing makes a Belizean prouder than letting tourists know about our National Symbols. Our Birds are as colorful as our Flag. Our animals, plants and trees are unique and show just how diverse flora and fauna are in our Lovely Jewel.

The National Flag

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Our flag and coat of arms boasts the lovely colors of Red, Blue, White and Green. It depicts the log wood cutters and their tools as the founding fathers of our nation around the Mahogany Tree. Our Motto in Lating - Sub Umbra Floreo means "Under the Shade of the Tree I Flourish". A wreath of fifty leaves locally called “Scorn the Earth” encircles the Coat of Arms. The fifty leaves signify the year 1950, when the first flag was presented.

The National Flower

The black orchid (Encyclia Cochleatum) is the National Flower of Belize. This orchid grows on trees in damp areas, and flowers nearly all year round. Its clustered bulb like stems vary in size up to six inches long and carry two or three leaves. The black orchid flower has greenish-yellow petals and sepals with purple blotches near the base. The "lip" (one petal of special construction, which is the flower's showiest) is shaped like a valve of a clam shell (hence the name Encyclia Cochleatum) and is deep purple-brown, almost black, with conspicuous radiating purple veins.
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The National Tree

The Mahogany Tree (Swietenia Macrophilla) is one of the magnificent giants of the Belize Jungles. Rising straight and tall to over a hundred feet from great buttresses at the roots, it emerges above the canopy of the surrounding trees with a crown of large, shining green leaves. The tree puts out a great flush of small whitish flowers - the blossom for dark fruits, which are pear-shaped capsules about six inches long. When the fruits mature they split into five valves, freeing large winged seeds which are carried a protection of the forest floor and germinate to begin a new life cycle. The mahogany tree matures in 60 to 80 years.

The National Bird

The Keel Billed Toucan (Ramphastos Solfurantus) is the National Bird of Belize. It has a canoe-shaped bill, brightly colored green, blue, red and orange feathers. The bird is about 20 inches in overall length. It is mostly black with bright yellow cheeks and chest, red under the tail and a distinctive white patch at the base of the tail. Toucans are found in open areas of the country with large trees. They make a monotonous frog-like croak. Toucans like fruits, and eat by cutting with the serrated edge of their bills. Toucans nest in holes in trees, using natural holes or holes made by woodpeckers, often enlarging the cavity by removing soft, rotten wood.

The National Animal

The Mountain Tapir is Belize's national animal. It is one of 4 different species from around the world. It is a herbivorous mammals that is a protected specie in the Jungles of Belize. You can see one in captivity at the Belize Zoo.

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