Enterolobium cyclocarpum commonly called as Guanacaste, elephant-ear tree, monkey-ear tree and caro caro. Guanacaste belongs to Plantae kingdom and Fabaceae family and natives to tropical regions of the Americas. Guanacaste mostly found along river banks and coastal areas. This tree is abundant in Costa Rica. Guanacaste became the National tree of Costa Rica in August 31, 1959. It is mostly found in humid and sub humid lowlands. Once Guanacaste is matured, it has the capability to withstand flood and resistant to fire. This tree grows upto 25-30m tall, with trunk upto 3-3.5m of diameter.
The fruit is and ear-shaped woody pod, indehiscent and flattened. It can live upto 70 yrs. Elephant-ear tree flowers blossoms from November to March and produce fruit in between the month of January to May. It is a multipurpose tree that can be used to feed grazing livestock for its native animals. Guanacaste seeds are edible and it has nutritive value. Caro caro is valuable firewood. This wood is highly resistant to fungi and dry- wood termites.
It is a soil improver. Guanacaste used as shade tree in coffee plantations. Again it is used as shade tree in Agro-silvopastoral systems. It is a nitrogen fixing tree. It also prevents soil erosion and preserve soil moisture.