Sabinea carinalis is the national flower of Dominica. Sabinea carinalis itself is the scientific name of this flower and it is commonly known as Carib Wood or ‘Bwa Kwaib’ in Dominica. This is an indigenous flower of the country and it was legislated as the national flower of Dominica in “The National Emblems of Dominica Act, 1978”. One of the reasons why this stunning red flower has been selected as the national flower of Dominica is that it has survived the entire history of the Dominic culture. These flowers are widely available in the dry coastal areas of Dominica country. It can be said that the national flower of Dominica, Sabinea carinalis represent the continuity of the young people of Dominica.
Facts about Dominica’s National Flower (Sabinea carinalis)
- Common Name: Carib Wood or ‘Bwa Kwaib’
- Genus: Sabinea
- Species: carinalis
- Found in: mostly in dry coastal areas
- Color: Red
- Number of petals: 5-15
- Time of blooming: February to April
- Purpose: Ornamental tree
- Symbolism: Strength and continuity
Sabinea carinalis is the national floral symbol of the Dominican people. Poitea carinalis or Sabinea carinalis is a small deciduous tree of dry shrub. When the flower of this little bushy dry tree starts to bloom, usually February-April (sometimes the blooming time can continue up to June, depending on the raining time in the dry season), an individual Poitea (Sabinea) can be seen from a mile away as the entire tree turns gleaming red, the flowers have the typical pea form with a long keel. Scattered individuals occur throughout the dry shrub and are occasionally planted elsewhere and since it has been adopted as the national flower of Dominica.
people are now encouraged to plant it more widely. The flowers appear just before the new leaves unfold and attract plenty of insects, hummingbirds and banana quits, but last for only a short time. Out of flower, it has 6-8 pairs of leaflets and a flattened pod. It is widespread to Dominica.
Dominica’s National flower the Bwa Kwaib (Saninea carinalis) comes from a small deciduous tree endemic to the west coast.
It was officially declared the national flower of Dominica in October 1978. It is said that the rich color of the flowers resembles the Dominican people’s courage, strength and resilience. When in bloom, it displays precocious bright scarlet flowers along the entire length of its branches, and is found growing along dry coastal areas. Distribution in the wild is low, but it is an extremely hardy plant. When grown at high elevations, even in good soil, ‘Bwa Kwaib’ will be bushy but not flower profusely. Around April, when in full bloom, the plant presents a magnificent spectacle.
The hardiness of the Sabinea carinalis and scarlet flowers are reminiscent of the strong rugged and resourceful people with an ability to survive and overcome problems, as well as Dominica’s ability to triumph despite seemingly undefeatable obstacles. So the Carib wood of the Bwa Kwaib is the perfect national flower of Dominica.