These plants are used in traditional medicine by Bahamians. The practice, termed Bush medicine, involves the brewing of roots, bark and leaves of particular plants and trees to make teas. This tea-making tradition was passed down through generations and the Levy Preserve is dedicated to preserving this traditional knowledge. The beds, organized by ailment, feature specimen trees and plants used in the treatment of a particular illness. A must for anyone interested in homeopathic medicine and ethnobotany.
Here, the Preserve highlights plants found in The Bahamas that have toxic properties. These plants are the ones you would want to know about if you were to explore the Bahamian islands. Look but DO NOT TOUCH!
A series of beds showcasing different groups of plants of special interest including Bahamian endemics – those only found in The Bahamas. There are 46 endemic species in the Living Collections.
This area tells the story of the plants that fed the people of The Bahamas. Setting the scene is a Lucayan (indigenous Indian) hut, built by hand from Bahamian pine stands. Here, plants that sustained the Lucayans – including the white Eleuthera pineapple, sea grapes and coco plum are brought together for the first time in hundreds of years.
Red dirt found in the beds is naturally blown in from the Sahara Desert, swept up high in the clouds during major dust storms and then deposited in The Bahamas, usually during hurricanes. This dirt is high in iron and increases the acidity of the very alkaline Bahamian soil, making it better suited for farming. Eleuthera has a lot of this red soil, typical of easterly Bahamian Islands.