Martinique’s Magnificent Porcelain Rose
It can’t be real.
The thought definitely crossed my mind the first time I visited Martinique and came across the stunner pictured above. It’s called the Porcelain Rose, and if it’s not the most beautiful flower in all of the Caribbean then I don’t know what is.
Originally from Indonesia, the Porcelain Rose has been a hallmark of the wildly diverse, colorful, and dynamic collection of flowering plants found in Martinique for generations, no doubt helping to inspire the island’s nickname – The Isle of Flowers.
True to the aka, you can find tons of beautiful flowers all over Martinique, though Mother Nature certainly broke the mold with this one. It literally appears to have been cast in porcelain, or sculpted somehow by hand. It’s just too perfect, too shiny and bright to be believed.
Porcelain Roses can be found growing in the wild at various nature parks around Martinique (two-thirds of the island carries the French designation ‘Regional Nature Park’). If you’re less adventurous, though, stop in at The Balata Gardens.
Easily among the top botanical gardens in the Caribbean, Balata is located in the hills above Fort-de-France, about a 30-minute drive north of the downtown area. The Porcelain Rose is a primary attraction here, of course, but there are also a good 3,000 other plant species spread around the seven-acre estate well worthy of discovery.
I’ll have a lot more to say about all that The Balata Gardens have to offer in a future post. If you’re keen on learning more now, though, visit them online.