The Kibrahacha tree (Tabebuia Billbergi) also known as Yellow Poui, is a very special tree found in Bonaire and the neighboring ABC islands. Once in awhile after just the right conditions, this tree will bloom the most beautiful yellow flowers.
The yellow of the blooming flowers is so striking that it even inspired the national flag of Bonaire. The flag’s upper left corner has a band of yellow which represents the sun and flowers of the island, which is a particular reference to the yellow flowers generated by the Kibrahacha tree. This tree is a native tree in Bonaire and Bonarians often say that when its flowers bloom it brings luck.
The wood of this tree is exceptionally hard the word Kibrahacha directly translates to “break” “axe”. The tree can grow up to ten metres high, enjoys sunlight and can grow on both limestone soil and diabase or dolerite.
What’s very special about this tree’s bloom is that it requires long periods of drought before it has a chance to shine. It is normally a very drab looking tree, but after a length of drought and the second rainfall, the trees will usually bloom into their wonderful yellow colors. This is sadly short lived as after a period of a few days it will shed all its leaves leaving the traces of its former bloom carpeted on the floor or nearby cacti!
This short-lived bloom becomes a beacon for some of the other wildlife species on Bonaire. Hummingbirds, Bees and even Bananaquits are some of the wildlife you will see flock to its flowers to feed on the Kibrahacha’s nectar.
What makes this bloom very special is that it is not guaranteed each year. If the tree gets small amounts of rain constantly it won’t show its true colors. It requires an extended period of drought with just the right amount of rainfall which means, once they bloom, try appreciate the little gem of nature before it swiftly disappears.