|Cecropia Tree (Thanks gettyimages)|
The Cecropia is one of the fastest growing plants in the rainforest. This allows it to grow up fast and stick out from the brush in a secondary forest. They sprout up in "light gap" areas. (Light-gap: Areas that have been cleared by fallen depri in the forest and now sun-light reaches the ground). The reason why Cecropias are able to grow so fast is because they have an empty stem. This is very common of fast growing plants. This tree can grow many feet in just one year.
The Cecropias most interesting fact and if you are on a nature hike I am almost sure you might here this from your naturalist guide (You Should, if you do not hear this from one of our guides please contact our office firstname.lastname@example.org). This is the relationship between the Cecropia Tree and the Azteca ants. The ants actually use the tree for a source of food and in exchange because of the ants hard bit it defends the plant against predators. The Azteca ant only takes its food source from the tree to a point that the tree can afford to give without damaging itself. This is a perfect example of one of the most amazing things of nature called SYMBIOSIS!