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Click below to see our plants alphabetically listed by common name with their cures and cooking ideas

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(Bananas & Plantains, Frangipani, Chiles, Heliconia, Hibiscus, Wildflowers and many more)

or search for Latin names and more below


**Nadine Tree
The wood from this tree is used in Montserrat for making charcoal. Maybe you would like to read a story I wrote about making charcoal in Montserrat with photographs of the process and the fellow doing the work.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2004/2010

Click here to read the story and see the photographs

Nardo Ginger Lily See the "G" Page -- GINGERS -- Yellow Butterfly Ginger


Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus or Tropaeolum nanum
This is one of my all time favorite flowering plants and its success in my garden has eluded me for years. Does it need water or not, fertile soil or not, sun or not? I am too frustrated for words by this engaging plant and totally unable to make it grow.
1. Nasturtium flowers, leaves and seeds are all edible and all impart a peppery flavor to the foods in which they are used.
2. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
3. Nasturtiums are high in vitamin C and have been used medicinally as well.
From: S. America
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.
Planting and Care: In my last foray onto the internet in search of yet another way to get this plant growing I found the latest information. Plant them in full sun in an area of the garden that holds moisture in the soil. I'm going to give that a try.
Text and Right Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2004/2010 and © 2013 left photograph

Natural Pesticides and More
See the "L" Page -- LINKS and REFERENCES FOR

**Neem Tree Melia azadirachta L.
This is a lovely tree with deep green soft leaves as you can see in the photograph to the left. It seems a very pliant tree with soft branches growing hither and yon which makes it ideal in the Caribbean where we routinely had ferocious winds.
Benefits: We used the leaves as an organic insecticide in our vegetable patches. We crush the leaves and set them to soak for three days and then use the liquid as a spray. Insects do not like it as all of them fly up and off the plants when we spray and the plants always look better the next day. We have been told that farm animals on the island will not eat the neem’s leaves, not even the goats, and it is almost unimaginable that there is something they won’t eat.
Flowers: Late spring -- April or May
The neem is native to India, but is now very common in Montserrat and probably also in the rest of the Caribbean.
Photographed: In our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2009
Neem Tree Products
Nepal Trumpet Flower Please See the "E" Page - EASTER LILY VINE
Never-Never Plant Stromanthe sp.
These are striking foliage plants that actually also flower making them doubly attractive. All told they'll grow to be less than 2 feet tall.
From: Latin America and perhaps Brazil
Photographed: On the right at the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand in 2013 and on the left at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.
Planting and Care: These are shade plants that do well in warm, moist or humid climates with a fair amount of rainfall or watering. Along with those requirements, give them a moderately rich composted soil and they'll be very content.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

New Guinea Impatiens
I think this is a great improvement on the old standby impatiens plants. The leaves are colorful and the same small sized blossoms come in more brilliant colors as well. If you have a shade garden, I would very much recommend a few of these plants.
Photographed: At the Hotel San Buenaventura on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and 2014

To see the less dramatic member of the family

See the "I" Page -- IMPATIENS


New Guinea Trumpet Vine, Forest Bell Creeper Tecomanthe dendrophila
Benefits: The flowers are extraordinary and maybe that's enough.
The tropical Pacific islands of New Guinea, New Briton, and the Solomon's
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in July of 2010.
Planting and Care: Oddly the New Guinea Trumpet Vine flowers from old wood so take great care with any kind of pruning until you have experience with this vine. This is a fast grower and loves to find support on a trellis or something similar. As a tropical plant it does best in warm, moist fertile soil in a semi shady situation or in one where it does not have to suffer mid day direct sun.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2015/2018

With my appreciation, my #16 Vine  mystery was identified for me by 'Botanics Man' on Twitter.



New Zealand Flax, New Zealand Hemp Phormium tenax
I think of this coppery colored plant as a type of wide bladed grass. It is very appealing.
Planting and Care:

Photographs Copyrighted © 2012

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2012.

Photographed: In the city gardens in Malaga, Spain, 2012.

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.

Many years ago I had these flowers growing in my New England summer garden. The scent in the late afternoon was glorious. I found the lime colored variety below especially interesting for the color combinations it could make with other flowers in an informal summer garden.

Planting and Care: These are very easy to care for plants. Give them warm summer sunshine and regular watering or rainfall and they will do just fine. They are annuals so you will have to plant them each year.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.


Nicotiana 'Lime'
In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.


** Night Blooming Cereus Cereus epiphyllum oxypetalum
We had one of these growing in a large pot on our terrace in Taxco, Mexico, and have now got a couple of plants growing in Montserrat. I have read they can spread their branches to sixty feet and that doesn't seem extraordinary when you see how fast they'll grow in a 12" pot. The cereus looks much like a plant that should be growing in the sea with its long flat succulent leaves. It blooms once a year usually in late spring, at night, with a dizzying scent. The flowers fade by morning, but it is well worth the wait. In Mexico, we always brought the plant in to the living room on the night it was blooming and we enjoyed the flowering while sitting comfortably on the couch. Now that they are outside in the garden here in Montserrat, we'll have to venture out there around midnight to see the show. Venturing out there is not so appealing when we think of the many 3" tarantulas that roam the gardens after dark.
Photographed: In our terrace garden at our apartment in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is a tropical rainforest plant that thrives in semi-shade with regular rainfall or watering. In strong sunlight it will burn and look very sad though it will probably still produce a few blooms.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010


As you can easily see, these are two different varieties, but they all seem to grow the same and give the same or very similar exquisite flowers.
Noni, Great Morinda, Beach Mulberry, Indian Mulberry Morinda citrifolia L.
These are beautiful green bushy plants that to a novice tropical gardener like me seem very desirable. Our neighbor Jack Riley and his wife Kathryn, repatriate Montserratians who lived and raised their family in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States, returned to Montserrat for their retirement. Jack is an avid gardener and has promised to grow a noni for me from the several thriving bushes that they have on their property. He did so, but we moved on before I planted it in our garden there.
Benefits: The plant is attractive to both butterflies and hummingbirds. And, if you find yourself on a deserted tropical island where there are fruit on a noni, have one. They don't taste good, but beggars can't be choosers so it is said. I've also heard that they have medicinal benefits which would be apt since they are otherwise not eaten. For some of its potential health benefits visit this website
Southeastern Asia or maybe the Caribbean or maybe Hawaii.
Planting and Care: Plant your noni in the sun or in a semi shady area where it will benefit from local rains, even though it will handle a drought if it has no choice.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2010
Nutmeg Tree Myristica fragrans Houtt.
In a sunny, warm, humid place the nutmeg tree will grow to 70 or 80 feet. Its leaves are similar to those on a coffee tree or gardenia–deep green and shiny. Five to six months after flowering it bears a 2" fruit containing the nutmeg seed. The seed is covered with a scarlet aril which when dried and ground becomes mace. One hundred nutmegs will produce only 3 ounces of dried mace. It has become an important export crop for the island of Grenada which sends about 2000 tons of nutmeg to the US each year.
Benefits: It is said to have medicinal uses as well as giving us its terrific spice. Imagine eggnog without it! We are hoping to find one to plant in our Montserrat garden.
Opinions vary on its origin; some say it is native to the East Indies while others believe that nutmeg arrived in the Caribbean in the early 19th century.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008

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Click below to see our plants alphabetically listed by common name with their cures and cooking ideas
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