The national tree of Jamaica is the indigenous Blue Mahoe. This tall, straight tree grows to around 20 meters tall and its wood has distinctive bluey green and yellow tints. These streaks can be very clearly seen in highly polished wood. The tree's heart shaped green leaves are around 15cm long and the flowers change colour, from yellow to orange to dark red.
The blue mahoe tree is indigenous to Jamaica, the only other country where it can be found naturally is Cuba. The "Blue" part of the name comes from the tints of blue in the wood and "Mahoe" is a Carib-Indian word. The tree is widely used furniture making and is one of Jamaica's main economic timbers.
The durability and sturdiness of the wood make it well suited for buildng furniture. Like the Lignum Vitae tree, the leaves and shoots of the Blue Mahoe also have medicinal applications. The tree is also used for reforestation projects.© 2008 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com