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Caribbean (West Indian) Flowers

Updated on March 8, 2012

Caribbean Flowers For Your Wedding, Garden Or Spring Bouquet

Caribbbean flowers can brighten a Caribbean gift basket, make a stunning bride's bouquet or centerpiece, turn your garden into a lush paradise or at just be at home in the West Indies. This guide to flora of the Caribbean informs you about tropical plants or flowers as gifts and also serves as a source of inspiration for décor. Caribbean flowers bring back memories of vacations or holidays. Thoughts of Caribbean flowers give pleasure during long, bleak and cold winters. Tropical blooms add ambiance to warm summer days. I hope the images and information prove to be as enjoyable and informative for you to view as they were for me to compile.

Books on Caribbean Flowers

For more detailed content on the flowers of the Caribbean, you may wish to pick up a book. Here are some volumes that reference specific West Indian Islands (Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos) as well as the Caribbean region in general

Carib Wood or "bwa kwaib" (think of the French "Bois Carib" - translated to Caribbean Wood) is the national flower of Dominica. This plant is both hardy and indigenous to Dominica, as well as being at its most stunning generally during the month of April. The scientific name of this tree-like shrub (reaching a height of between 10 and 15 feet) is sabinea carinalis or also poitea carinalis. A nice photo gallery of Bwa Kwaib can be found at the site of the Dominica Botanic Gardens. The Heliconia was an earlier choice for Dominica's national flower, as was the Petria, but the unique and native Bwa Kwaib won out in the end (1978) due to its poetic representation of the Dominican people, equally unique and native. The Bwa Kwaib flowers only live a few days between February and April (although sometimes lasting through June) making this national flower even more elusive.

Bwa Kwaib only grows in the wild on the Island of Dominica, although it is also being grown in Guyana. Similar plants occur in the wild on the Virgin Islands and in Puerto Rico.

Find more information on Bois Caribe, Carib Wood or "Bwa Kwaib":

Dagger's Log or "Batta Lob" (Agave)
Dagger's Log or "Batta Lob" (Agave)

The Century Plant

Its flower staff is the "Dagger's Log"

The national flower of the islands of Antigua & Barbuda is the "Dagger's Log" or flowering staff of the Agave plant. A member of the lily family, The agave plant only flowers once in its lifetime (after about 10 or 20 years) at the top of a pole or "log" that emerges from the center of the plant. After flowering, the plant dies. Outside of Antigua & Barbuda, the agave is also known as the "Century Plant". Known by the Arawaks as "Maguey" or "Kabuya", the leaf fiber of this plant was used to make hammock strings, rope, cords and handicrafts. Dead "logs" are pieced together to make fishing rafts. Medicinally, the plant was used for curing tuberculosis. Another handy and practical use of the agave plant on Antigua & Barbuda is to plant several together forming a sturdy fence for keeping out intruders. The Antigua Barbuda Horticultural Society provides a beautiful summary of the Dagger's Log or Agave at its site. This site is a useful reference for other flora and fauna of these islands - don't miss it!]

Purchase Agave Plants: Check out Tyty's Nursery to purchase agave plants online. Agave's are slow to grow, so the larger plants are highly prized and more expensive.

The grand fete is a celebration of pomp and pageantry. Floral societies practice months before the fete with nightly singing rehearsals called "seances" that follow a specific protocal.

Seances are led by a lead singer ("shantwel"), usually a woman. The shantwel leads the other society members in a chorus with violins, banjos, quatros, guitars, shak-shaks, bahas, and drums. Variety and spontaneity occur at "seances": this doesn't happen at the more disciplined grand fete. At a séance, you might see dances like the mapa and the gwan won. Grande fête dancing is traditional and limited to quadrilles, belairs, mazurkas and other figure dancing.

The King and Queen preside over the grand fete, accompanied by their royal court and supporters of the respective flowers. The day begins with church services. These are followed by street processions. The celebrating society's personalities are invited to a feast in the evening. Dancing takes up the rest of the night .

Wild Banana Orchid
Wild Banana Orchid

Wild Banana Orchid

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have 26 species of orchids, of which the most famous is their national flower, the Wild Banana Orchid. This species is endemic to the Cayman Islands, meaning it can only be found there. These orchids grow on another plant: usually Whitewood, Mahoganey or Logwood trees. Humidity and heavy rains cause these plants to flower profusely. The plant is named for the long and curved spike which is topped by the orchid flower and clustered at the bottom with 'pseudobulbs' resembling bananas.

It is part of Caymanian folklore that natives used to use the hollow pseudobulbs of the Wild Banana Orchid as temporary smoking pipe bowls. Although not considered endangered, the Wild Banana Orchid's host trees (and thus their habitat) are dwindling. There are also concerns about the hybridization of this orchid species.

It is illegal to kill or take an orchid from the Cayman Islands.

Order Caribbean Flowers

Are you wanting to purchase or create your own Caribbean floral arrangement? Now you know a little more about the typical flowers: hibiscus, birds of paradise, ginger flowers, bromeliads and orchids. Caribbean floral arrangements generally have a lot of height, making them ideal for centerpieces. I've spent time online curating photos of impressive floral arrangements and bouquets featuring West Indian plants, as well as locating Caribbean-inspired bouquets that are available for online ordering. Choose your florist online at Centsible and view sample designs as well as shipping policies, featured deals and couon or promo codes.

Have a look at the selections I've found from local florists located in the Caribbean Islands and online florists

Although the protea flowers are more of an African flower than a Caribbean one, they contribute nicely to these arrangements. The Birds of Paradise and Cymbidium Orchids are typically Caribbean. The seashells and wicker accents complete the look nicely.

When ordering these plants, please ensure that you live in an appropriate area for them to thrive.


However, some plants like orchids, heliconias, barrel cacti, hibiscus and others can thrive indoors in containers.

Help With Growing Your Own Caribbean Flowers - Reference books for including tropical plants in your garden.

Botanical Gardens and National Parks of the Caribbean

Visit these websites for information on botanical gardens and parks throughout the Caribbean islands.

The sense of smell is tied to strongly to memories. The bright colors of Caribbean flowers are also highly impressionable. Let us know which flower transports you back to the islands the quickest.


Which flower is most definitive of the West Indies

See results

Purchase Anthurium Plants Online at Amazon - A hardy indoor plant.

Anthuriums are hardy indoor plants and are quite easy to propagate through cuttings.

Many species of Anthurium can be grown indoors as houseplants, or outdoors shaded areas with mild climate. They thrive in moist soil (not dry, not wet) with lots of organic material. The potting material should be coarse and well-drained, mixed on a 1:1:1 ration of peat moss: pine bark: perlite. Indoors plants do best at temperatures between 60-72 degrees F / 16-22 degrees C with lower light than other house plants. Regularly wipe the leaves with water to remove dust. Give your anthurium a weak fertilizer solution (dilute to 1/4 strength) every other week. In the case of vining or climbing Anthuriums, the plants be sure to provide them with a totem to climb.

If you've enjoyed this collection of Caribbean Flowers, please sign my guestbook.

Contact Laura Schofield


*If you would like to suggest any links or have your own photos and / or stories published, please send me an email. I can be contacted through my personal homepage, laura-schofield.com. If you enjoy the work I've done here, I do offer professional copy writing, photo restoration / manipulation, search engine optimization and web design services. I can again be contacted for any of these services through my website.

If you find this lens incredibly useful, you should nominate it for a Lens of the Day award. If it wins, this lens will be prominently displayed on Squidoo for a day. It might just brighten someone's day who really needs it - reminding them of their Caribbean vacation, their childhood, their wedding, or just give them a few pretty pictures to look at.

Can't rate this lens or nominate it because you're not yet a member of Squidoo?

If you're not yet a member of Squidoo, you can sign up and get started with the Squidoo community right here. Go on, its addictive (in a good way)!

Your Thoughts On These Caribbean Flowers - Find your Caribbean wedding flowers, plant advice or gift basket?

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    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Beautiful lens on the Caribbean flowers!

    • profile image

      ijramirez 3 years ago

      Please do not refer to the national flower of Pero Rico as hibiscus. It is totally and absolutely incorrect. It is called Flor de (mags flower) which is a tree not a bush. Thespesia grandiflora

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

      Thank you for this lovely and great lens, our nature is so beautiful, I think orchids are the most beautiful flowers of all, thanks for sharing

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 4 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Nice! I've never been to the Atlantic tropics (although I've spent a lot of time in the Western Pacific tropics). Amazing flowers ... and many that are also seen in the Pacific. Brings back a lot of memories. Congrats on a Squidoo masterpiece!

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      Thank you for all the great flowers!

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

      Beautiful flowers! Thanks!

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      These flowers are amazing. Thanks for gathering them all together. Very nice!

    • profile image

      Jamaican-Foods 5 years ago

      These Flowers are beautiful

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      Wow! So many beautiful flowers!! What a gorgeous article! Love, love love it!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'll give you a 'High-Five' a very "floral" lens about the Caribbean's flowers. I am particularly impressed you mentioned Barbados, my hometown.

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      Beautifully presented and lovely flowers.

    • profile image

      Alex-45 5 years ago

      A beautiful lens. Thank you!

    • PennyHowe profile image

      PennyHowe 5 years ago

      Super info and great photos. Thanks.

    • TriniChellez profile image

      TriniChellez 5 years ago

      I am originally from a Caribbean island, well twin island to be exact (Trinidad and Tobago) and I really miss the exotic and tropical flowers. I do have a hibiscus flower plant in my back yard. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Came back to *bless* this, great unique flower.

    • nigel7725 profile image

      nigel7725 5 years ago

      The Caribbean is wonderful.

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Beautiful and informative lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      khowell2012 5 years ago

      Brilliant lens - a really interesting insight into caribbean flowers

    • AndrewBiron profile image

      AndrewBiron 5 years ago

      Great lense! Very interesting.

    • profile image

      helpmeetingneeds 5 years ago

      Your lens is so beautifil my dear, I love it.

    • mjtaylor lm profile image

      mjtaylor lm 5 years ago

      Really lovely lens! And just up my alley as a Key West resident!

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      I think the orchids are the best ... we have some stunning wild orchids in the Bahamas

    • profile image

      aiclogcabins 5 years ago

      I think the hibiscous is my favourite flower out of all of these

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      I adore flowers and these are gorgeous!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Great lens and stunning photos. Thanks for sharing!

    • Totus Mundus profile image

      Totus Mundus 5 years ago

      Very nice, colourful lens. Enjoyable.

    • profile image

      PecjakJN 5 years ago

      The most beautifu flowers.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. Enjoyed the travel through these beautiful flowers.

      You can delete this but I thought I would let you know there are a lot of broken links at "The Official Flower of Martinique modules". Thanks for sharing with us.

    • profile image

      ptnjust007 5 years ago

      beautiful flowers

    • profile image

      rbsgifts 5 years ago

      I was looking for something to write on flowers and i got your blog ... it is really cool and made me understand how to write an informative and attractive post.

    • TopToysForKids profile image

      TopToysForKids 5 years ago

      Wonderfully done! Caribbean Flowers are gorgeous....maybe for my wedding....=)

    • KandH profile image

      KandH 5 years ago

      Great lens! It's Barbados 45th Independence Day today - Nov 30th 2011!! ... Locally, we affectionately refer to the Dwarf Poinciana as "The Pride of Barbados" :)

    • profile image

      kittitianhill 5 years ago

      st kitts citizenship programs were established in 1984, making the program one of the longest economic citizenship programs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful flowers like it. very nice lens thanks for sharing. squid-liked

    • Northwestphotos profile image

      Northwestphotos 5 years ago

      Beautiful flowers from a beautiful place on earth! Thanks for the informative and beautiful lens!

    • profile image

      MyDestination 5 years ago

      Really nice lens! enjoyed reading it

    • MadHaps LM profile image

      MadHaps LM 5 years ago

      You did nice job of researching and bringing all this info together. Just did my first lens 'Orchids of the Americas" so still learning the building process. Live in Fla the top left of your Caribbean map (Sarasota) so get to enjoy these flowers all the time. Sorry.........

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      beautiful lens, love all the photos and the easy reading. earned a 'thumbs up' from this reader.

    • SaintFrantic profile image

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      This lens is incredible.Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      CreativeArtDesigns 5 years ago

      Great Lens with a lot of information as well as great pictures. Thanks!

    • StudioElysee profile image

      StudioElysee 5 years ago

      I adore the Caribbean too! Beautiful lens - - very helpful too as I love Caribbean flowers and plants but am terrible with their names- - Heliconia is one of my absolute favorites- - now I know its name!

    • collierlewisjew profile image

      collierlewisjew 5 years ago

      I love the Caribbean so much, my fiancé and i travel to the islands often. Awesome lens! So much info, and great photos.

    • profile image

      love4rocks 6 years ago

      Gorgeous lens. I love tropical flowers. I wish I would life in a warmer climate, where I could plant them and they survive.

    • egadapparel lm profile image

      egadapparel lm 6 years ago

      This is a really awesome lens, you did a great job! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Lovely lens. I love tropical flowers. I was also really cool to see a map of the region.

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Its nice to read your informative knowledge. Thanks

    • profile image

      AndySamuels 6 years ago

      Love the lens - very informative, thank you.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      Lovely lens! Such beautiful flowers. :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. I've added it to my favorites so I can visit it again and again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Love it.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      What a fantastic lens!! - well done

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      I learned a lot about the flowers of the Caribbean. Thanks for the information and have a Lucky Leprechaun Blessing!

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 6 years ago

      Your lens was both beautiful and comprehensive. I am nominating it for a Lotd.

    • profile image

      Elementsinspired 6 years ago

      Beautiful Lens. We have snow on the ground here, and just looking at the beautiful flowers made me think of white sands, crystal blue waters and warmth! You are clearly super knowledgeable on the subject.

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 6 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      You lens gives a lovely reminder of the beautiful flowers of the Western Caribbean. I enjoyed the photos!

    • BubblesRFun profile image

      BubblesRFun 6 years ago

      I never knew that Bachelor Buttons were St. Lucia's flower..Very cool!!!! Thanks for a Great Lens:)

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Came back to see this lovely lens again, and to lensroll it to my new lens about St Lucia's drive-in volcano

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      I love your lens! Especially on a gloomy winter day!

    • Laura Schofield profile image
      Author

      Laura Schofield 6 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @WorldVisionary: Thank you very much for the blessing!

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 6 years ago

      What a gorgeous lens! I've left you a little Angel dust...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a stunning and delightful Lens, such fantastic flowers, love them all!

    • Tyla MacAllister profile image

      Tyla MacAllister 6 years ago

      I would love to be in the Caribbean right now with these beautiful tropical flowers. When spring arrives I will definitely plant Lantana and maybe a Hibiscus or two. Blessed by a squidangel*.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      Very colorful lens! I've never been to the Caribbean. Thanks for the trip!

    • tourism-india profile image

      tourism-india 6 years ago

      so many beautiful and colourful flowers! Wow!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Never been to the Caribbean - one day perhaps - so many absolutely gorgeous flowers and so many of them with great medicinal powers. Thanks for the lens.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      What a wonderful lens to look at during a cold winter day. The flowers are so exotic and beautiful. I have a few in my garden. Wish I could have all of them. What a paradise it would be. Blessed.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Beautiful, beautiful! Brings back memories of wonderful times spent in Caribbean ports on cruises... so many beautiful flowers there. I've lensrolled this lens to mine about CocoCay.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Lovely lens - tropical flowers are so beautiful. The security word for posting this comment is "delightful" which pretty much sums it up. I think my favorite Caribbean flower is the hibiscus. Blessed by a SquidAngel and featured on my angel lens.

    • profile image

      Craftybegonia 6 years ago

      Gorgeous lens! I've always loved bougainvilleas, I'm glad you included them. They can smother an arbor and bring such a burst of wonderful color to a garden!

    • GardenArbor profile image

      GardenArbor 6 years ago

      Beautiful Lens! Have seen a few in their natural habitat!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Chicago area

      the sight of bouganvillea makes me happy -- I'm somewhere warm & pretty!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      Very nice lens! Thumbs up from me, and I have lensrolled you to my Flowers and Plants of Hawaii lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love your lens, I am from the Bahamas and there are a lot of flowers, like the yellow elder, great job.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 6 years ago from Montana

      I love these flowers. Blessed by a flowery angel.

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      Beautiful flowers! I enjoyed looking at each one!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      I must say, I have never seen some of these flowers before. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 6 years ago

      beautiful lens...I enjoyed all the pictures...I have a friend in the Caribbean, I had no idea the scenery there was soooo beautiful :o)

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Lovely views from this Caribbean Flowers lens. Congratulations for your purple star. :)

    • Laura Schofield profile image
      Author

      Laura Schofield 7 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @SandyMertens: Thanks!

    • Laura Schofield profile image
      Author

      Laura Schofield 7 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @norma-holt: Thanks so much!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congrats on your Purple Star! Well deserved!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congrats on your Purple Star! Well deserved!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      What a great lens and feast for the eyes. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust - flowers

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      Very Impressive lens your images are awesome,I enjoyed reading your lens.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Beautiful site! I learned a lot from the info/photos you presented. I love hibiscus! Reminds me of the U.S. Virgin Islands - particularly St. Croix. The St. George Botanical Garden has a great collection of tropical flowers on the island.

    • profile image

      JewelRiver 7 years ago

      Yes I did it was beautiful and interesting. 5 stars

    • profile image

      gemenerni1 8 years ago

      Hey,

      I must say that i really like your lens. I remember when i was visiting the Caribbean, on the best Caribbean cruises ever. And i remember all the beautiful flowers that look just like the ones on your lens. Talk about bringing back memories!

      Regards,

      Gem

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautiful flowers - we love hinsicus, but they don't bloom as well in the UK summer like they do in the Caribbean!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      This lens was featured on A Day of 100 Squid Angel Blessings.

    • Prentice Lee profile image

      Prentice Lee 8 years ago from BC

      This is a great lens. Very well organized and beautiful photos

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Hi,

      My name is Elizabeth Jean Allen and I am the new group leader for the Nature and the Outdoors Group.

      Lizzy

    • susansavad profile image

      susansavad 8 years ago

      I really enjoyed all your wonderful pictures of these flowers.

    • profile image

      coopd 8 years ago

      You have a wonderful lens with beautiful pictures! I would love having you submit your lens to my Nature Lovers group :)

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 8 years ago

      Nice lens, love the flowers! Thanks for joining the Everything Caribbean Group!

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 8 years ago from London

      Why not transfer this to the new Home and Garden category?

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 8 years ago from London

      I'm having difficulty contacting you with this message. Great lens - but not eligible for my group. How about a lens which is specifically dedicated to the great gardens of the Caribbean - or even better a lens for each garden?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Ahhhh Im in LOVE! I have been drooling over bougainvilleas for years, wanting some for my flowergarden! Now with these pics, Ive got more to desire! Welcome to the Flowers, Flowers, and more Flowers Group!