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National Symbols of Belize
National Tree: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophilla)
This prized tree has been heavily logged in Belize, and large specimens are found in only a few areas. The "big leaf" mahogany tree can grow more than 150 feet high and takes 80 years to reach maturity. The wood has a coppery red sheen, a tight, knot-free grain, and a single mature tree can be worth US$100,000 or more.
National Flower: Black Orchid (Prosthechea cochleata)
The name is deceiving. Only the lip of the flower is black, and the long, slender sepals and petals are yellow-green. These fragrant little flowers bloom year-round and can be found growing on trees in damp areas.
National Bird: Keel-Billed Toucan (Ramphastos solfurantus)
Every cereal lover is familiar with this bird. The toucan, with its huge canoe-shape beak and bright yellow cheeks, can be found in open areas all over the country and loves to eat fruit.
National Animal: Baird's Tapir (Tapirello bairdii)
Called the mountain cow by most Belizeans, the tapir is actually related to the primitive horse and rhinoceros. A beefy vegetarian, it can weigh up to 600 pounds and is often found in heavy bush, near rivers and streams.
National Motto: Sub Umbra Florero
"Under the Shade I Flourish" refers to the shade of the mahogany tree, which is on Belize's coat of arms and flag.
National Drink: Orange Fanta and Belikin Beer (Unofficially, of course).
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