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.
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
- used as a starchy vegetable in many local dishes.
Wild Sage (Lantana camara)
- used in tea to treat colds and chills
Mango (Mangifera indica L.)
- the most popular fruit in the West Indies.
Soursop (Annona muricata L.)
- used to make ice cream and preserves, and as a sedative for children.
Screw Pine (Pandanus utilis)
- leaves used to make baskets, place mats and other woven craft.
Blood Flower/Milky-Milky (Asclepias curassavica)
- used to treat guinea worm and ringworm.
Wild Cilliment (Pimenta racemosa)
- leaves were soaked in rum and used to relieve soreness.
Wild Cherries (Prunus occidentalis)
- fruits are used locally to make fruit punches.
Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifara)
- used for medicine, thatch, timber, fiber and copra.
Golden Apple (Spondias dulcis)
- fruits made into preserves or eaten when ripe.
Tree Fern (Cyathea arborea)
- used by the Carib Indians to preserve and carry fire.
Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris)
- used in making furniture, pipes, fences and poles.
Jumbie Beads (Abrus precatorius)
- seeds (toxic) used as decorations on handicrafts.
White Cedar (Tabebuia heteropyhlla)
- used chiefly for posts and poles, but also used in boat building.
Silk Cotton Tree/Kapok (Ceiba pentandra)
- used in baths to relieve fatigue and to counteract poisoning.
Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera)
- fruits used to prepare jellies and wine-like beverages locally.
Hog Plum (Spondias mombin)
- used in a tea to stop diarrhoea or dysentery.
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