The St Vincent Botanic Gardens is the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere. General Robert Melville, then Governor of the Windward Islands, established the Gardens in 1765.
The original ambition of Robert Melville was to establish a horticultural research station. This was for “the cultivation and improvement of many plants now growing wild and the import of others from similar climates.” They believed this “would be of great utility to the public and vastly improve the resources of the island.”
The Botanic Gardens lie on the outskirts of Kingstown on 20 acres of rolling hills. Included in the gardens is the breadfruit tree. This was brought to the island by Captain Bligh of the Bounty fame. The prolific bounty of the breadfruit trees was used to feed the slaves. You can see a direct descendant of the original tree in the gardens. Other specimens include mahogany, rubber, teak, mango and other tropical trees and shrubs.
St Vincent Botanic Gardens
St Vincent Parrot
The Gardens is also home to a small aviary that houses two dozen rare St. Vincent parrots confiscated from illegal collections. The Parrot (the Amazona Guildingi) is the National Bird. It is the only type of parrot on the island. The parrot is a large beautiful colored bird about 16 – 18 inches in length. The head is white, yellow and violet. The neck is mostly green, the body plumage is predominantly gold and brown washed with green. The wings are variegated and the tail green and violet blue, broadly tipped with yellow.