Castleton Botanical Gardens

Moon Author's Review

Castleton Botanical Gardens (free, tip guides) along the main Kingston-to-Annotto Bay road (A3) just over the border from St. Andrew, is still one of the nicest parks in Jamaica, despite having suffered years of neglect and recurring hurricane damage. Castleton was established in the 1860s and planted with 400 species from Kew Gardens in England. It remained an important introduction point for ornamental and economically important species, including scores of palms as well as poincianas and the large Bombay mango variety. One of the most interesting specimens in the gardens is the Scew Palm (Pandanus tectorius), which sends down aerial, or stilt, roots, and another notable tree is the Poor Man's Orchid (not a true orchid), which has become ubiquitous around the island. Other economically important tree species still growing at the gardens are the Burma teak and West Indian mahogany.


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