National Tree – The Blue Mahoe
The tree is quite attractive with its straight trunk, broad green leaves and hibiscus-like flowers. The attractive flower changes colour as it matures, going from bright yellow to orange red and finally to crimson.
The name mahoe is derived from a Carib Indian word. The ‘blue’ refers to blue-green streaks in the polished wood, giving it a distinctive appearance.
The Blue Mahoe is so beautiful and durable that it is widely used for cabinet making and also for making decorative objects such as picture frames, bowls and carving.
The inner bark of the tree is often referred to as ‘Cuba bark’ because it was formerly used for tying bundles of Havana cigars. Cuba is the only other place where the Blue Mahoe grows naturally.