Thank you to Jacob K. aka morabeza79@Flickr for sharing today’s photograph via the BPotD Flickr pool (original). Do check out Jacob’s 1800+ photographs, almost all to do with plants — plenty of tropicals!
Although posted to Flickr as Hauya microcerata, Tropicos suggests Hauya elegans is the currently accepted name for Hauya microcerata using the 2007 Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol. 6 as a reference. Without access to the reference, I can’t guess why Hauya microcerata has become a synonym. Other than Costa Rica, this species can also be found in Guatemala, Belize and the Chiapas state of Mexico.
If researching Hauya, or the tree evening-primroses (or evening-primrose trees), do note that the main flower in this photograph has already lost its petals (striking though it is without them). Photographs of a few Hauya can be found on the Onagraceae pages on the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History site: Hauya.
Most Onagraceae are perennial or annual herbaceous plants — well-known north termperate genera such as Epilobium and Zauschneria; only a few genera like Hauya have woody representatives, such as the closely-related Fuchsia.
Information on Hauya microcerata can be found in this extraction from the Flora of Guatemala (use your browser’s search function to find Hauya on the page). Assuming that the information on Hauya microcerata on that page is applicable to this Hauya elegans, then this is a species of forested hillsides, particularly ravines. The Flora of Guatemala describes it as “…a beautiful sight when covered with the large, pure white, delicate flowers, which appear at the beginning of the rainy season when the oaks are developing new leaves and the whole aspect of the forest reminds one of a northern spring.”
Photography resource link: “Toward a Personal Style“, an article on NaturePhotographers.net by Michael Gordon.