Caribbean Trees
Their Uses

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Caribbean Trees List & Uses
Calabash-Jumbie Bead


Caribbean trees have more uses than most of us realize.

Calabash (Crescentia cujete): the fruit of the calabash tree is made into ornaments.

Candle Tree (Parmentiera cereifera): From Panama, this tree has 1 to 3-inch fruits that have a waxy texture and look like hand-made candles. They also have an apple-like aroma.

Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis): This is a strange-looking tree, kind of like Medusa of Greek lore, with long dangling branches holding 6 to 8-inch hard shelled cannonball-like fruit. The fruit pulp has a unpleasant odor. These fruit start as flowers that are pushed out of the tree bark.

Cassia (Cassia grandis): There are several different types, but the coral shower or pink cassia tree is the first one to bloom in the spring.

Casuarina (Casuarina equisetifolia): Also called the Australian pine, this coastal tree has long green needles year-round and grows to 100 feet. It's a popular windbreak but a line of them on a beach will also prevent turtles from reaching their nesting sites.

Chenet (Melicocca bijugo): the fruit is edible.

Cherry Guava (Eugenia floribunda): the fruit is made into preserves.

Coffee Tree (Coffea arabica): A small evergreen 12 to 15 inches tall, its berries ripen in the fall, about 1000 to a pound. It was introduced into the Caribbean in the early 1800s.

Cordia (Cordia sebestena): Also the geranium and geiger tree, this evergreen thrives where there is little water and it is salt resistant. A popular ornamental on the drier islands.

Crappo (Carapa guianensis): the seeds are a medicinal oil.

Divi-Divi Tree (Caesalpinia coriaria): This windblown tree is almost a national symbol on Aruba , Bonaire and Curacao . An evergreen capable of growing to 30 feet, it normally grows with a windswept look. Its pods containing tannin were once exported.

Fat Pork (Chrysobolanus icaco): the fruit is edible.

Flamboyant (Delonix regia): Also the flame tree, royal poinciana and flame of the forest. The national flower of Puerto Rico, the red blossoms begin in spring and last through summer. Its long brown pods have been used for necklaces.

Fustic (Chlorophora tinctoria): the wood is used for khaki dye.

Ginger Thomas (Tecoma stans): Also called yellow elder, yellow trumpet and yellow cedar. The official flower of the U.S. Virgin Islands, this evergreen can flower twice a year.

Hog Plum (Spondees monsoon): the fruit is made into jellies and preserves while the leaves can be made into a tea to stop diarrhea.

Incense (Portion guianense):; the bark exudate is burned for its smell.

Jumbie Bead (Erythrina spp.): the dried seeds are made into necklaces.

To Caribbean Trees & Vines Part 3
Lignum Vitae - Yellow Poui

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