Blue skies and beautiful beaches mark the tropical paradise of the Bahamas. The lovely yellow elder is the perfect flower to represent this bright and cheerful country. The yellow elder, the national flower of the Bahamas is a bright yellow blossom with very fine red stripes on each of the petals. The tubular flower grows wild on trees in the Bahamas, but it is often included in gardens and cultivated into a more beautiful and groomed version.
The National Flower of the Bahamas
The yellow elder grows on a yellow elder tree. The tree is found throughout the islands of the Bahamas growing in the wild, and also in gardens and landscaping. The yellow elder tree can be as tall as twenty feet when fully mature and holds the bright colorful flowers beautifully when they bloom. The blooming period for the yellow elder flowers is October to December with the flowers fading away as the spring advances.
The bell shaped blossoms of the yellow elder tree are easy to recognize. They grow in clusters and are vivid against the brown and green of the branches and leaves. The buds appear as little bags and if squeezed before they bloom, the little buds pop noisily. Once open, the blossoms measure about an inch across and two inches deep.
In the 1970s, the various garden clubs of the Bahamas began discussing a national flower for the island. It was determined that many of the other natural flowers that grew wild on the island already had been claimed by other nations as a national flower. It was decided that yellow elder, which grew so beautifully on the island and was unclaimed by others at the time, would be the new national flower.
Growing Yellow Elder
Yellow elder is a beautiful addition to a garden, especially in the South, but can be grown easily in the North as well. The yellow elder grows best in full sun with slightly drought-like conditions. Plant the yellow elder shrub in the ground after risks of freeze and water only when the ground becomes dry for an extended period of time. If healthy, the yellow elder can grow to 20 feet.