What Is Jamaica's Natural Vegetation?

One particular area in Jamaica called Cockpit Country has a native vegetation characterized by evergreen seasonal woodlands and limestone forests with relatively low moisture and denuded sections. A sizable portion of Jamaica's natural vegetation has been stripped away due to illegal logging and to support agriculture. As of 2015, only the most secluded parts in Jamaica remain virtually undisturbed by any human interference.

Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, situated just south of Cuba. As of 2015, Jamaica ranks as the 168th largest country in the world and the third largest island in the Caribbean. Along its coastline, Jamaica experiences a tropical climate but further inland, its interior is characterized by temperate weather conditions. The country is predominantly mountainous with narrow flat, low-lying lands along its coast. By being completely surrounded by water, its isolation from other major landmasses resulted in a rich native biodiversity for the country.

Jamaica houses two prominent woodland ecosystems: the Cockpit Country and the combined Blue and John Crow mountain ranges. The latter is home to limestone woodlands, shale forests and swampy timberland near the coastal lowlands. The limestone woodlands house a wide variety of flowering plants, where 33 percent of all vascular plants in Jamaica are only found in these mountains. The Cockpit Country, meanwhile, comprises around 1,500 varieties of vascular plants, including 100 types of flowering plants and one species of fern that are restricted to this part of the island. Bromeliads, orchids and ferns are the most common plant vegetation in Jamaica.