To celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence, as well as Jamaica being home to the fastest woman on the planet and the two fastest men, I thought I’d share some Jamaica-inspired illustrations and specimens.
This beautiful blue flower is the national flower of Jamaica -roughbark or common lignum-vitae (Guaiacum officinale). Now international trade in this species is prevented, but this tree was overexploited for centuries for both its very dense hard timber and for the medicinal resin it produces.
And this lovely illustration is of the flowers of the blue mahoe (Hibiscus elatus), the national tree of Jamaica. The blue refers to the interestingly coloured streaks in the timber which make it highly decorative for woodworking.