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Jamaica National Tree -
The Blue Mahoe

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The Jamaica National Tree is known as the Blue Mahoe, or for those interested in the scientific name, it is called the Hibiscus Elatus.

The Blue Mahoe is the national tree of Jamaica and is not to be mistaken for the national flower of Jamaica which is called the Lignum Vitae.

This tree is indigenous to Jamaica and it grows quite rapidly.

It often grows to about 20 metres, which is about 66 feet, or more in height. However, in what we would call "wetter districts" it will grow in a wide range of elevations, sometimes up to about 1200 metres or 4000 feet, and is often used in reforestation.

The Blue Mahoe tree is quite attractive.

Its characteristics include a straight trunk, broad green leaves and hibiscus-like flowers. This attractive hibiscus-like flower changes colour as it matures.

Jamaica national tree Blue Mahoe

It would go from bright yellow to orange red and then finally to crimson (which is a deep purplish red).

The name "Mahoe" is derived from a Carib Indian word. The "blue" refers to tree's blue-green streaks which are found in the polished wood, giving it a distinctive appearance.

The Blue Mahoe is such a beautiful tree and it is also durable. This strength and durability that is possesses is the main reason that it is widely used for cabinet making and also for making decorative objects such as bowls, picture frames, and carvings.

The inner bark of the Blue Mahoe 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 can grow naturally.

Again, remember that the Jamaican national tree is called the Blue Mahoe and it not to be mistaken for the national Jamaica flower, which is known as the Lignum Vitae.


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