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Ecotourism and Nature



St. Kitts and Nevis are among the Caribbean's finest destinations for eco-tourism. Both islands possess a remarkable range of unspoiled ecosystems, from coral reefs and windswept rocky coastlines to the lush density of rare oceanic rainforests among the clouds.

On St. Kitts, a rugged hiking adventure up Mount Liamuiga takes you through the exotic flora and fauna of the island's rainforest to the mile-wide crater rim of this dormant volcano. Among the vine-laden trees and tropical wildflowers of the misty cloudforest can be found a wide variety of rare and colorful birds and butterflies, as well as the elusive green vervet monkey.

Local Flora and Medicinal Plants

Here are a few of the plants that can be seen on the nature trails around St. Kitts & Nevis and their common uses:

Poinciana or Flamboyant tree (Delonix regia)

- national flower of St. Kitts & Nevis, said to be named after the French nobleman, Count de Poincy, a former Governor General of St. Kitts during the French rule.


Flamboyant tree

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

- used as a starchy vegetable in many local dishes.

breadfruit

Wild Sage (Lantana camara)

- used in tea to treat colds and chills

wild sage

Mango (Mangifera indica L.)

- the most popular fruit in the West Indies.

Mango

Soursop (Annona muricata L.)

- used to make ice cream and preserves, and as a sedative for children.

soursop

Screw Pine (Pandanus utilis)

- leaves used to make baskets, place mats and other woven craft.

screw pine

Blood Flower/Milky-Milky (Asclepias curassavica)

- used to treat guinea worm and ringworm.

blood flower

Wild Cilliment (Pimenta racemosa)

- leaves were soaked in rum and used to relieve soreness.

pimenta

Wild Cherries (Prunus occidentalis)

- fruits are used locally to make fruit punches.

prunus

Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifara)

- used for medicine, thatch, timber, fiber and copra.

cocos

Golden Apple (Spondias dulcis)

- fruits made into preserves or eaten when ripe.

golden apple

Tree Fern (Cyathea arborea)

- used by the Carib Indians to preserve and carry fire.

tree fern

Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris)

- used in making furniture, pipes, fences and poles.

bamboo

Jumbie Beads (Abrus precatorius)

- seeds (toxic) used as decorations on handicrafts.

abrus

White Cedar (Tabebuia heteropyhlla)

- used chiefly for posts and poles, but also used in boat building.

white cedar

Silk Cotton Tree/Kapok (Ceiba pentandra)

- used in baths to relieve fatigue and to counteract poisoning.

ceiba

Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera)

- fruits used to prepare jellies and wine-like beverages locally.

seagrape

Hog Plum (Spondias mombin)

- used in a tea to stop diarrhoea or dysentery.

golden apple

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St.Kitts, 2001

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St.Kitts

Material Copyright; 2001, Dr. Jorg Bucheler. All rights reserved.

This document designed & maintained by Dr. Jorg Bucheler DrBucheler@Hotmail.Com