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It would be almost impossible for one to overlook the bounty of blooming flowers all around St. Croix. 2022 has gifted us with an array of flourishing foliage that the island hasn’t seen for a few years. The most notable of them all is the flamboyant tree. Known as the royal poinciana tree, the bursts of colors from the trees vibrant tropical flowers offer a welcomed sight for sore eyes. You can find these “flame trees” dotted all along the island’s hillsides and roadsides during the warmer summer months. In full bloom, the flamboyant’s stunning flower clusters cascade into a recognizable umbrella shape with hundreds of large, orange-red flowers made of six petals that measure about 4 inches in length.

Eleanor Gibney, an expert on Virgin Islands trees and history, believes that flamboyant trees were introduced into this area of the Caribbean around the mid-1800s, based on historical Caribbean plant lists. While these trees are native to Madagascar, an island off the coast of Africa, they were recorded as common in West Indian gardens by the 1880s. In addition to its flowering beauty, the flamboyant tree also provides musical instruments by way of the tree’s seed pods. Long, slender and brown in color, these pods measure up to two feet in length. The loose seeds inside the pods make a rattling sound when you shake them, resulting in a musical percussion instrument known as the shack-shack.

Summers on St. Croix offer unique experiences like picking mango in the rainforest, enjoying the warmer-than-normal water temperature at the beach and breathtaking sunsets often accompanied by the iconic “green flash.” Catching a glimpse of the magnificent foliage of the flamboyant tree is another reason why you should visit St. Croix when the weather is warm where you are. This is also the perfect time to explore what island living could be for you. Our agents at Coldwell Banker St. Croix would be happy to share several exceptional properties with you to jumpstart your path to homeownership in the Caribbean.

Written by Anquanette Gaspard (