Hidden in an enchanted 11- acre peninsula off the coast of Montego Bay, Round Hill boasts an abundance of timeless elegance and true understated luxury. Known as one of the world’s most iconic and romantic resorts for decades, the beauty of Jamaica’s flora throughout the grounds has provided bliss and relaxation for many visitors.
Dave Hamilton, Head Gardener at Round Hill shares enchanting stories about the bountiful variety of species across the property. He shares that the rich collection of flora is as a result of the English bringing their functional and favorite species to Jamaica has the soil and climate proved ideal for a nursery. The island paradise might evoke images of majestic palm trees on white sand beaches, but Jamaica is home to much more lush vegetation than just these swaying fans. Color abounds among the green if you look around!
Here’s a list of some of the most beautiful tropical plants you may see during your stay with us, and interesting facts about them…
Jamaica’s Flora at Round Hill
A splash of flame in the green
On the Round Hill grounds, look for the tree that is primrose in the morning, then turning orange and deep red during the day. The Blue Mahoe, Jamaica’s national tree, provides a brilliant display of color through the lush green.
Dainty purple and white flowers
The national flower of Jamaica, Lignum Vitae, also known as the “tree of life”, showcases small purple flowers among the white blossoms. The subtle color provides a relaxing hue to the surroundings. It is also the preferred plant by the national bird, the Swallowtail Humming Bird, for nectar.
Tropical shower of color
Outside your villa window or by the pool, you’ll find an array of Hibiscus from deep red to pale pink, yellow, coral and other shades. These showy flowers love the tropical Caribbean climate and several hundred species adorn the island.
Known for their elongated trunks and lush green leaves, royal palms are known to grow up to 100ft. These were originally brought to the island to break lightning.
Plumeria flower also called the “frangipani” is known to be used by Hawaiians to make perfume. Locally, it is a favourite for added floral décor. The most beautiful assortment of its kind is located at Villa 23.
Villa 20 has one of the oldest trees on the property, a kapok cotton tree also known as the “walking tree” because of its large and heavily grounded widespread roots. Myths have it that because of its large coverage from the leaves, and its casted darkness, ghosts and spirits prefer to live their afterlife in these kinds of trees. The durability of its wood, in previous times made for great canoes as they are still used by fishermen in communities today.
Indian almond tree can be seen along the beach and several walkways across property. It is one of the few species of deciduous plants on island losing all their leaves for part of the year.
Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today
This ever- changing pant gives new meaning to the element of surprise. It rarely keeps the same colour for long as it changes daily with hues ranging from bright purple, pale purple to white.
Located along the surfaces of Villa 25, this pimento plant has the firm combined scent of a variety of herb favorite. The fruits are picked when green and unripe and are traditionally dried in the sun. The leaves and meat are usually used for preserving and adding flavor to meat.
High in carbohydrates, this tree produces a fruit that can grow as big as a soccer ball. It was brought to the Caribbean by Captain Bly – paired with ackee (Jamaica’s national fruit) to add in balanced nutrition of workers.
Age Is Nothing But a Plant
One of the oldest trees planted by Head Gardener some 20 years ago, is the “Giant Bamboo” tree at Villa 10. As the name suggested, the tree has grown massively to great heights with thick evergreen stems.
Bursera simaruba is jokingly referred to as the “tourist tree” since its reddish, peeling, and medicine-rich bark resembles the skin of sunburnt sightseers. It is also known as the gumbo limbo tree because it grows and bends identical to the bent back of a limbo dancer.
You Are What You Eat: The Organic Garden
A project that started some 6 years ago, has become a staple in the sustainable tourism for the property. World- renowned Chef Maginley supplies his culinary masterpieces with products from this one of a kind field. The organic garden produces a variety of fruits, herbs without the use of any insecticide, fungicide, weedicide or fertilizer. Some of the products of the soil include: basil, parsley, chives, zucchini, cilantro, rosemary, mint, Aloe Vera, arugula, mixed lettuce, tomato, beans. There is also a collection of merengue known to lower blood pressure and boost energy, as well as lemon grass – a noted Spa essential and mosquito repellant.