St. Lucia FLowers, Ixora or West Indian Jasmin

Flowers of Saint Lucia

…I traveled to St. Lucia many times, but never really got into studying the plants and flowers… On the last trip I stayed in Fox Grove Inn located in the beautiful mountain area with nice garden and many blooms in it. I went to explore and took a lot of pictures. I collected some images of flowers that can be encountered throughout the island of St. Lucia. Found in resorts, along roads and in botanical gardens, these are the flowers that make St. Lucia of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean.

St. Lucia FLowers, Ixora or West Indian Jasmin
St. Lucia FLowers, Ixora or West Indian Jasmin

The Ixora, also called West Indian Jasmine is a common flowering plant with small, bushy shrubs that feature large clusters of a variety of colours amongst evergreen leaves. It is said that there is an estimated 400 species of Ixora currently in existence! The plant also has a lot of medicinal uses – mainly anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

St. Lucia Flowers - Bird of Paradise
St. Lucia Flowers – Bird of Paradise

On my way back to the hotel I got out of the car to look at the road side and found a lot of beautiful flowers growing in a large group, so took a few pictures… – later I found out that these are called “Bird of Paradise”! The flower originates from South Africa, where it is also nicknamed the Crane Flower. This flower has been grown at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South Africa since 1773. The bird of paradise gets its name from the fact that its flower is made of three bright orange petals and three blue petals which are fused together into a single bud. As the flower blooms, each petal makes its debut and the resulting shape mirrors that of a tropical bird in flight… In St. Lucia, there are many opportunities to see the beautiful local plant life. Even alongside roads, it looks like a flower show!

St. Lucia Flowers - Ginger Lily
St. Lucia Flowers – Ginger Lily

The Ginger Lily is a tall evergreen plant  which originates from the South Pacific. The plant has bright red long, attractive flowers, lush green leaves and small white flowers that are not as prominent. The Ginger Lily plant is widely cultivated in St. Lucia and very much used throughout the island in floral arrangements.

St. Lucia Flowers - Oleander
St. Lucia Flowers – Oleander

Oleander can be found in many gardens, it is so loved for the beautiful pink flowers… but be careful – the plant can cause irritation to the skin if you touch it! Interesting fact – some insects are known to be unaffected by oleander toxins, and feed on the plants. Caterpillars of the polka-dot wasp moth feed specifically on oleanders and survive by eating only the pulp surrounding the leaf-veins, avoiding the fibers. Larvae of the common crow butterfly also feed on oleanders, and they retain or modify toxins, making them unpalatable to potential predators such as birds!

St. Lucia Flowers - Bougainvillea
St. Lucia Flowers – Bougainvillea

A plant that does very well in the heat, the Bougainvillea is the most commonly found flower in St. Lucia. It can be found in many different colors such as pink, light pink and yellow.

St. Lucia Flowers - Lobster Claw
St. Lucia Flowers – Lobster Claw

The Lobster Claw is probably the coolest looking flower in St Lucia. Even better, they can be spotted almost anywhere. They are named after the fact that they happen to look quite similar to – you guessed it, a lobster’ claw. Just make sure you know which one is which!

St. Lucia FLowers - Hibiscus
St. Lucia FLowers – Hibiscus

There are nine main types of Hibiscus blossoms with many more varieties of colours coming from these types. The flower blooms for one day only, there are a few hybrids which open for a second day. The Hibiscus Flower is less popular as a flower than it is a tea, which is high in Vitamin C content and has a very tart flavor. It is one of the very versatile tropical flowers and can easily be grown on your balcony or in your garden. The flowers and other parts of the plant also used to make medicine. People use hibiscus for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, to increase the production of breast milk, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

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