The Mango ( Mangifera indica) tree originated in India where it is the national fruit. This 50ft to 100 ft tall tree can be seen growing in gardens all over Barbados . There are more than 100 different types and varieties in the world . This popular tropical fruit tree was brought to the Caribbean from Asia more than 200 years ago. Haiti has become a leading world exporter. Bajans love Mangoes but the season is short and there are few commercial mango orchards on island of the reason why the Trust wants to plant more. The Julie Mango variety is the most common grafted variety in Barbados.
The fruits are eaten fresh, dried or as juice. In Asia Mango chutney is widely eaten made with green unripe fruit. The kernel oil is used in cosmetics and in India the timber from old mangoes trees are used for building.
Soursop ( Annona Muriccata) is a Latin American tree where it is known as Graviola. It is widely grown right across the Caribbean where it grows up to 30 feet tall and produces 12 inch long spiky dark green fruit. In Colombia, possible home to this tree, they make a vast array of products from soursop - from juices to ice creams, jams and other food products as well as eating them fresh.
Soursop grows well in Barbados but there are no plantations of the fruit and hence the Trust decided to plant a whole lot more. Soursop leaves have been traditional used to treat a number of diseases and is widely used by people that have breast cancer.
Mammie Apple ( Mammea Americana) an indigenous to the Americas . This 60-70 foot high tree used as a fruit and a medicine in Barbados and other Caribbean islands was probably introduced by the Amerindians into the Caribbean. The fruit is actually better known as an apricot in places where it grows in abundance like Haiti, and Central America. In Barbados the fruit is often made into fruit salad or as a juice. The juice stains the clothes irreparably. In Trinidad the seed which are lethal to fish, young chicks and some insects is being used as a component in Natural insecticide one of the reason the Trust is very keen to encourage greater production.
The tree bark is used medicinally particularly for scalp infections and against Diarrhea and Dysentry. Its hard wood is used in furniture making.
Photo © C. Delnatte - ONF Martinique
The West Indian Cherry known as Bajan Cherry ( Malpighia glabra) is one of the most famous one of indigenous trees on Barbados. More commonly known in Latin America and Europe by its Portuguese name of Acerola or Bajan Cherry is one of the most important sources of natural Vitamin C in the world and large plantations can be found in Brazil, Guyana and elsewhere . This 4-5ft high bushy like tree should not be confused with Surinam Cherry which is a different species.
Bajan cherries are bright red and cherry shaped. Surinamese cherries are more orangey and looks very different. Bajan Cherries are made into juice and spray dried nutritional supplements that can be found in almost every health food shop . Although a native to this island the crop has never been widely commercialized here hence the Trust is keen to promote this national treasure.
West Indian Bay
Bearded Fig Tree