Jamaican Christmas Tree - what is its correct name?


Hey buddy, I need your help!

Late last month, Nov 25, to be exact, I got this email from Barbara, a new subscriber and reader of my website.

Barbara said...


I found your website tonight and love it.

Besides “Christmas Flower” what is the traditional name for that plant? I believe the green leaves turn white at Christmas.

I tried to get this additional information from your website without success.

Barbara Matthews

I started responding to her but realized that I didn't know the name of the flower myself!

I only knew it as the "Christmas Tree", per my grandmother. So I paused and responded to say that I'll find out and get back to her.

By the way, we had a tree in the yard back then, it was beautiful, no other flower came close during the Christmas season when it leaves turn white and it blooms.

Anyway back to Barb, I made some phone calls, asked some persons directly (in person) and also went online to research it.

But up to this day, 15 days later, I am still unable to find anything on the plant!

All the persons I spoke to who can relate to it, knows it as the "Christmas Tree". When I checked online, the only reference or picture to it was from this, my website.

So this is where YOU come in my friend!

I believe that through the collective wisdom of you and others on the website, I can find the name - or get some direction to it.

I'd love to get back to her with a definitive response.

So please, can you tell me what correct name for this plant is?

Here are some additional pictures I took.




By the way, I was re-inspired when I ran into one of the plants, way up in the community of Fairfield in Manchester some weeks ago, it was so beautiful... these pictures doesn't do it any justice.

And, the lady was extremely kind to me, she gave me two small baby plants in a bottle with water and asked me to 'set' it when I get home.

I did... and that reminds me, I need to check its growth shortly.

Anyway, back to the main subject, I went to the extreme to post my request on social media (Facebook Link Here but only got one response, hence I am reaching out to my readers.

Just state the name and any other infromation you know about it in the comments link below, thanks!

Here is yet another photo (below), I snap this one, with some of the ones above in a yard near the Dunbars River area of SavannalaMar.


I hope you know it, or know of it. Remember to send your feedback via the the comments link below. Thanks in advance.


Comments for Jamaican Christmas Tree - what is its correct name?

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Dec 17, 2018
Christmas flowers
by: Helen

Hello to Jamaica! It's a bit hard to spot the bush. It seems to me that it is capparis jamaicanensis or Jamaica Caper. Unfortunately I can not see the flowers in the photo.
Merry Christmas for you, Wellesley and your family as well as for all Jamaicans!

Dec 16, 2018
by: paula

Capparis? or Caper tree?

Dec 16, 2018
Euphorbia Marginata
by: Anonymous

The correct name is Euphorbia Marginata, its called locally "Snow on the Mountain".

Its the same family as the other Christmas flower the Poinsettia which is named Euphobia pulcherima.
So now you know the correct name you can do all the necessary research!

You will notice that these and other related plants have a white stainy sap, and yes, some persons are allergic to the Euphorbias!

Dec 16, 2018
Thanks much!
by: Wellesley

I think that might be it Jason! Looking forward to see other mentions.


Dec 16, 2018
Christmas tree
by: Lennox

Yes i do know this tree, its leaves are green all year then turn white at December. It looks beautiful at nights when decorated with pepper lights. Sorry i dont know the correct name, but folks in my area just call it 'christmas tree'

Dec 16, 2018
Christmas tree
by: Jason

Maybe this is it also known as Snow Flake Bush(Euphorbia leucocephala). Thanks for your great site with much about Jamaica!!!

Dec 16, 2018
I used to see these nearby the gully
by: Samuel

I used to see these trees bear by the gully can't remember much about it or it's name it has been over 40 years now my grandmother and grandfather never speak of it. In hindsight I think it is because back then we didn't chop it down and decorate it like they do over here with their Christmas tree. Thus I cannot recall the name. We even used to have a tree when you chop it it bleed I cannot recall the name of this tree either

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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.  

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