Roseau, Dominica: In the series of National Emblems Week, the National Flower of Dominica- Bwa Kwayib has taken centre stage. The flower has perfectly complemented the purple colour of the National Flag.
On Emblems Week, the distinctive feature of the flag has been unveiled, serving as a potent reminder of Dominica’s rich culture and natural heritage. The celebration also marked the commitment of its people to uphold the values it represents.
Bwa Kwayib- National Flower of Dominica
This small deciduous tree with brilliant red flowers that grow in the wild, mainly along the dry scrub woodland of the west coast, was chosen as the national flower around the time of independence.
Its claim to this title is based on the botanical fact that it is endemic to Dominica, with only one related species found in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Some years earlier, the Dominica Horticultural Society had chosen the blazer or heleconia (Heliconia bihali) as its choice for the national flower. It was selected by the popular vote of people attending one of its exhibitions.
Another contender was the beautiful mauve Petrea (Petrea Kohautiana), blossoming on vines throughout the rainforest.
However, there was the view among the selectors that it was not endemic to Dominica and the uniqueness of the Bwa Kwaib gave it the edge.
The flowers have a form typical of pea flowers with a long keel. Scattered bushes grow all along the west coast and make a short–lived burst of colour from February to April and sometimes as late as June.
The flowers die within a few days, so this is a rather elusive national flower. During this time, it attracts an abundance of insects, hummingbirds and banana quits. Since being declared the national flower the Bwa Kwaib has been spread across the island by human propagation.
In many cases, it has been planted well out of its natural vegetation range, such as in mountain villages and on the east coast, so because of this, its flowering is affected according to the microclimate of its location.
Schools, churches and government departments were encouraged to plant the national flower on their grounds and so it is now well-established around the island.
National Flag of Dominica
The National Flag of Dominica has featured a green field, representing the lush rainforests that blanket the islands. Further, the three colours of the flag- yellow, black and white are the perfect display of the culture of the indigenous people. Besides this, the fertile soil and the pure water flourish the essence of the togetherness of the country.
National Emblems Week
Emblems Week aimed to mark the significance of the national emblems. It encouraged their active usage, especially among schools and the general public. It is also a part of the celebration of Independence of Dominica.
Anglina Byron, developed a deep-seated passion for journalism. Anglina is recognized for her tenacity, strength, and unwavering commitment to delivering honest and reliable news across the Caribbean. She covers general affairs of the region.