Flowers and Fruit
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Plants here are affected by elevation and rainfall, and because of the wide spectrum of geographical variables in the Dominican Republic, there is a bewildering array of plants and flowers.
The country is gorged with pineapples, grapefruit, papayas, mangoes, guavas, passionfruit, bananas, and melons. Let us not forget coffee and sugarcane. Breakfast tables have never been this happy. In the morning, start your day with a common breakfast of a milkshake made with fresh lechosa (papaya) and mango.
Along the city streets and across the country, fruit and vegetable markets overflow with produce like avocados, plátanos (plantains), sugarcane, eggplants, herbs, onions, and cassava.
Tree ferns, orchids, bromeliads, and epiphytes are found in abundance in the humid forests. It is estimated that more than 300 varieties of orchids grow in the Dominican Republic. The Jardín Botánico Nacional in Santo Domingo displays 67 of them. In fact, in the forested highlands of the Sierra de Bahoruco (in the deep southwest of the Península de Pedernales) more than 50 percent of all native orchids are found.
Taínos cultivated the indigenous crops long before the Spanish showed up. They were fairly skilled farmers who grew the higüero (calabash) tree for food. They then used the dried gourds to make masks and containers. They also grew papaya and the yuca (cassava) plant that played a major role in their diet and still does to most Dominicans. Yuca is one of the most important ingredients for sancocho, a traditional Dominican stew.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition