These plants contribute to the rich biodiversity of The Bahamas. Each has its own unique characteristics and some even have medicinal properties. A fast-growing pine tree found only on 4 Bahamian Islands. Golden Pothos popular houseplant commonly seen in Australia, Asia, and the West Indies.
Also known as Devil’s Ivy, this is an easy-to-grow houseplant with shiny, heart-shaped leaves and a vining nature. It’s native to tropical French Polynesian islands in the South Pacific, but can now be found throughout the world. In the wild, pothos can achieve surprisingly large sizes, with leaves reaching lengths of more than a foot. However, in the home, it tends to stay much smaller.
Despite being a very popular houseplant, pothos are mildly toxic. All parts of the plant contain a substance called calcium oxalate, which are microscopic crystals that act as a contact irritant. Ingestion of pothos can cause swelling and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, as well as intestinal discomfort and indigestion.
Large flower Mexican Clover
Despite its name, this plant is not a clover and it’s not from Mexico. It’s actually native to Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina3. It’s a creeping perennial broadleaf weed that grows in subtropical areas. In Florida, it’s considered a major problem in the region’s natural areas.
The flowers aren’t huge, perhaps a half inch to three-quarters of an inch across and about the same depth. Each has six petals and stamen, which are mostly pinkish white near the top, becoming more white deeper into the throat.
This plant is a perennial species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae. It is native and endemic to Madagascar but is grown elsewhere as an ornamental and medicinal plant, and now has a pantropical distribution. It is a source of the drugs vincristine and vinblastine, used to treat cancer. It was formerly included in the genus Vinca as Vinca rosea. It has many vernacular names among which are arivotaombelona or rivotambelona, tonga, tongatse or trongatse, tsimatiririnina, and vonenina.
The plant is an evergreen subshrub or herbaceous plant growing 1 m (39 in) tall. The leaves are oval to oblong, 2.5–9 cm (1.0–3.5 in) long and 1–3.5 cm (0.4–1.4 in) wide, glossy green, hairless, with a pale midrib and a short petiole 1–1.8 cm (0.4–0.7 in) long; they are arranged in opposite pairs.
This plant is a genus of flowering plants in the aster family, Asteraceae. The genus includes roughly 230 species which are distributed worldwide. The common names beggarticks, blackjack, burr marigolds, cobbler’s pegs, Spanish needles, stickseeds, tickseeds, and tickseed sunflowers refer to the fruits of the plants, most of which are bristly and barbed.
The generic name refers to the same character; Bidens comes from the Latin bis (“two”) and dens (“tooth”)2. Species occur in the Americas, Africa, Polynesia, Europe and Asia2. Nodding beggarticks (B. cernua) and hairy beggarticks (B. pilosa) are useful as honey plants. Several Bidens species are used as food by the caterpillars of certain Lepidoptera, such as the noctuid moth Hypercompe hambletoni and the brush-footed butterfly Vanessa cardui, the painted lady.
This is a low shrub or bushy tree found near sea beaches and inland throughout tropical Africa, tropical Americas, and the Caribbean, and in southern Florida and the Bahamas. It is also found as an exotic species on other tropical islands, where it has become a problematic invasive. Cocoplum is a versatile, hardy native plant that can be used as a groundcover, hedge, or fruit tree.
It has attractive, rounded leaves and edible fruits. The plant is a shrub 1–3 metres (3.3–9.8 ft), or bushy tree 2–6 metres (6.6–19.7 ft), rarely to 10 metres (33 ft). The fruit is edible, with an almost tasteless to mildly sweet flavor, and is sometimes used for jam. It contains a five- or six-ridged brownstone with an edible white seed.
This is an open-habitat, native shrub of the Southern United States which is often grown as an ornamental in gardens and yards. American beautyberries produce large clusters of purple berries, which birds and deer eat, thus distributing the seeds. The raw berries, while palatably sweet, are suitable for human consumption only in small amounts because they are astringent. Some people have reported mild stomach cramps after consumption. The berries are also used in jellies and wine.
The roots are used to make herbal tea. As a folk remedy, it has been claimed that “fresh, crushed leaves of American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana … helped keep biting insects away from animals such as horses and mules”. A chemical compound isolated from the plant, callicarpenal, was effective as a mosquito repellent in a laboratory experiment using a simulated skin model.
This is a species of tree and flowering plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, that is native to coastal beaches throughout tropical America and the Caribbean, including central & southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, and Bermuda. Common names include seagrape and baygrape. In late summer, it bears green fruit, about 2 cm (0.79 in) in diameter, in large, grape-like clusters. The fruit gradually ripens to a purplish color.
Each contains a large pit that constitutes most of the volume of the fruit. Coccoloba uvifera is a popular ornamental plant in south Florida yards. It serves as a dune stabilizer and protective habitat for small animals. Tall sea grape plants behind beaches help prevent sea turtles from being distracted by lights from nearby buildings. The sap has been used for dyeing and tanning leather.
This is a tropical, evergreen, monoecious shrub with large, thick, leathery, shiny evergreen leaves. It is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and the western Pacific Ocean islands. The garden crotons are cultivated for their striking foliage in various colors and patterns. They are also poisonous and can cause contact dermatitis. The croton is a striking, easy-to-grow houseplant known for its variegated foliage covered in green, scarlet, orange, and yellow splotches.
Croton, also called “garden croton,” are native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and Oceania3. In the wild, they grow as large shrubs, reaching up to 10 feet tall (in the home or garden, they stay much smaller). Note: All parts of this plant are poisonous—especially the seeds—so it is not recommended for use in homes with curious pets or children. When damaged, croton produces a milky sap that can irritate the skin, too.
This is a wood, also called guayacan or guaiacum, and in parts of Europe known as Pockholz or poke out, from trees of the genus Guaiacum. The trees are indigenous to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America (e.g., Colombia and Venezuela) and have been an important export crop to Europe since the beginning of the 16th century. The wood was once very important for applications requiring a material with its extraordinary combination of strength, toughness, and density.
It is also the national tree of the Bahamas and the Jamaican national flower. The wood is obtained chiefly from Guaiacum officinale and Guaiacum sanctum, both small, slow-growing trees. All species of the genus Guaiacum are now listed in Appendix II of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as potentially endangered species. G. sanctum is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List.
This is a species of flowering perennial shrub in the trumpet vine family, Bignoniaceae, that is native to the Americas. Common names include Yellow Trumpetbush, Yellow Bells, Yellow Elder, and Ginger Thomas. Tecoma stans is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and the floral emblem of The Bahamas. The plant is extremely ornamental, producing an attractive blue flower and orange-yellow fruit, while its crown has an attractive rounded shape.
The tree is one of the most useful in the world. Its name, when translated from Latin, means “wood of life” – probably adopted because of its medicinal qualities. The body, gum, bark, fruit, leaves, and blossom all serve some useful purpose. In fact, the tree has been regarded for its medicinal properties. A gum (gum guaiac) obtained from its resin was once regarded as a purgative. It was exported to Europe in the early sixteenth century as a remedy (combined with mercury) for syphilis and has also been used as a remedy for gout.