Which trees in Aruba are renowned?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Trees in Aruba

Aruba, a small island nation located in the southern Caribbean, is home to a diverse array of plant life. The island’s dry and arid climate has created a unique landscape, with a mix of cacti, shrubs, and trees that have adapted to thrive in the harsh conditions. Despite the limited vegetation, Aruba boasts several renowned trees that have become national symbols, cultural icons, and tourist attractions.

The Divi-Divi Tree: A National Symbol

The Divi-Divi tree is one of the most recognizable trees in Aruba, and perhaps the most famous. Its distinctive silhouette, with branches that spread horizontally in all directions, has become an emblem of the island. The tree is rooted in folklore and legends, and is said to have been a source of inspiration for local artists and poets. The Divi-Divi tree is also known for providing shade and shelter for wildlife, and for its role in preventing desertification. Its hard wood is used for furniture and construction, and its bark has medicinal properties.

Palo di Leche: The Milk Tree

Palo di Leche, also known as the milk tree, is another iconic tree in Aruba. The tree is named for the milky sap that oozes from its trunk when cut. The sap is said to have healing properties, and is used in traditional medicine to treat skin irritations and wounds. The Palo di Leche tree has a distinctive shape, with a broad canopy of glossy leaves that provide ample shade. Its wood is used for construction, furniture, and carving, and its fruits are consumed by birds and small mammals.

The Aloe Vera Tree: A Healing Plant

The Aloe Vera tree is a well-known plant that is used in beauty products and alternative medicine around the world. In Aruba, the Aloe Vera tree is native, and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for skin conditions and burns. The tree’s thick, fleshy leaves store water and nutrients, which allow the plant to survive in extreme conditions. The Aloe Vera tree is also prized for its striking appearance, with tall, slender stalks that bloom with bright yellow flowers.

Kwihi: The Mesquite Tree

The Kwihi tree, also known as the mesquite tree, is a common sight in Aruba’s dry forests and savannas. The tree’s thorny branches provide shade and shelter for wildlife, and its seeds are a food source for birds and rodents. The Kwihi tree’s bark and wood are used for fuel, while its leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat indigestion and respiratory ailments.

Cacti of Aruba: A Unique Landscape

Aruba is well-known for its cacti, which are a defining feature of the island’s landscape. The cacti in Aruba come in many shapes and sizes, from the towering Saguaro cactus to the barrel-shaped Prickly Pear. The cacti are important sources of food and water for wildlife, and play a crucial role in preventing erosion and desertification.

Watapana: The Compass Tree

The Watapana tree, also known as the compass tree, is a unique sight in Aruba. The tree’s gnarled branches twist and turn in all directions, making it look like a giant bonsai tree. The Watapana tree is known for its ability to point in the direction of the prevailing winds, and is said to have been used by sailors as a guide when navigating the waters around Aruba.

The Acacia Tree: A Favorite Shade Provider

The Acacia tree is a popular choice for providing shade in Aruba’s dry climate. The tree’s broad canopy of feathery leaves provides ample shade, while its deep roots allow it to survive in extreme conditions. The wood of the Acacia tree is used for furniture and construction, while its bark and leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat fever and diarrhea.

The Fofoti Tree: A Windblown Attraction

The Fofoti tree, also known as the beach divi tree, is a popular attraction in Aruba. The tree’s branches are bent in the shape of a 90-degree angle, due to the constant trade winds that blow across the island. The Fofoti tree is a symbol of resilience, and is often used as a backdrop for tourist photos.

The Kwihi Bishi: A Thorny Tree

The Kwihi Bishi tree, also known as the thorn acacia, is a spiny tree that is found in Aruba’s dry forests and savannas. The tree’s thorny branches provide protection from predators for small animals, while its seeds are an important food source. The Kwihi Bishi tree’s wood is used for firewood, while its leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat inflammation and skin conditions.

The Calabash Tree: A Cultural Icon

The Calabash tree is a cultural icon in Aruba, and is often used in traditional celebrations and ceremonies. The tree’s hard, hollow fruit is used to make musical instruments, bowls, and other decorative objects. The Calabash tree is also prized for its shade, and is a popular spot for picnics and gatherings.

The Manchineel Tree: A Deadly Beauty

The Manchineel tree is a notoriously toxic tree that is found in Aruba and other Caribbean islands. The tree’s sap contains a potent toxin that can cause severe skin irritation and even blindness if it gets in the eyes. The tree’s fruit is also toxic, and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress if ingested. Despite its dangers, the Manchineel tree is known for its striking appearance, with glossy leaves and a gnarled trunk that make it a popular sight for tourists.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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