St. George Village Botanic Garden

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Virgin Islands (U.S.) - St. Croix - Frederiksted

Institution Code: VISG

International Agenda Registration: Yes

BGCI Member: Yes

St. George Village Botanical Garden
St. George Village Botanical Garden

About the St. George Village Botanic Garden

Located on St Croix in the United States Virgin Islands, the St. George Village Botanical Garden is a 16- acre garden situated among the buildings and ruins of an 18th and 19th century sugar cane plantation. This site overlaps an Amerindian settlement which dates back to c.100 A.D.

The Garden’s botanical collections feature over 1,000 varieties of plants that demonstrate the horticultural potential for the U.S. Virgin Islands and emphasize the cultural and historical value of plants as a source of food, medicine, fiber, color dyes, and building material in the Caribbean.

Visitors enjoy a spectacular mix of history and natural beauty with a variety of themed garden areas set among the historic structures of the colonial era sugarcane plantation. The property is listed twice in the National Registry of Historic Sites for both the Amerindian archaeological site and the Danish colonial sugarcane plantation village.

The early settlers who once called the area their home made their way up the island chain from the Saladero site in the basin of the Orinoco River in present-day Venezuela. These Saladoid peoples were skilled horticulturists who had been cultivating cassava for centuries. The Saladoid culture and later groups carried crops such as peanuts, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, and pineapples from South America through the island chain. Very likely, these Amerindians selected the St. George site because the fresh water stream, now called Mint Gut, would have given them access to the south shore via canoe and thus provided a means to travel easily through the center of the island. The Saladoid inhabitants occupied this site until about 1,000 A.D. when they apparently dispersed to other island locations.

Under Danish rule around 1750, sugarcane was first planted on this site. For the next 200 years, sugarcane dominated all the activity on Estate St. George. A series of Danish owners, including such prominent men as John Heyliger and Peter Oxholm, controlled the working farm, the sugarcane “factory,” and the land’s enslaved and freed workers.

During the early part of the 20th Century, as the profits from sugar production declined, cattle replaced sugarcane on Estate St. George. By the early 1970's much of the land fell into disuse, and dense tropical vegetation began to reclaim much of the property and buildings. In 1972, the first parcel of land that was to become the 16.5 acres of the present day Botanical Garden was donated to the St. Croix Garden Club in order to establish the St. George Village Botanical Garden.

Main Address:
St. George Village Botanic Garden
127 Estate St. George
Frederiksted
St. Croix 00840 Virgin Islands (U.S.)

Telephone: (340) 692-2874
Fax: (340) 692-6154
URL: www.sgvbg.org
Primary Email: garden2@viaccess.net

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Dewey Hollister
    Curator's Name: Michael Thomas
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Danny Oliver
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 6
    Educational Staff Number:
    Research Staff Number:
    Administration Staff Number: 5

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 1975
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 1 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 4 Hectares
  • Total Area: 8 Hectares
    Latitude: 17.71514
    Longitude: -64.83055
    Annual Rainfall: 1000 mm
    Altitude: 10.00 Metres
    Total area of shadehouses: 375 Metres
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: The Botanical Garden of the Virgin Islands
  • Local Address: Located on the site of a former Saladoid and Taino Village (dating back over 2000 years) and a Danish sugar cane plantation and Slave village, the Gardens 16 acres house the most comprehensive collection of Virgin Island plants in existence. The Garden is open to visitors 364 days a year. The Gardens education and conservation programs are based on this collection.
  • Locality: City:
  • Locality: State:

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Herbarium: Number of Specimens: 6000
    Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 3
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: No
  • Number of Visitors: 10000
    Number of Volunteers: 15

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 1000
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 500
  • Special Collections:Native plants, tropical and subtropical trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials. Medicinal plants. Wild plants of economic importance.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: No
    ABS Policy: No
    Plant Collection Policy: No

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Ethnobotany: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: No
    Special Exhibitions: No
    Courses for School Children: No
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: No
    Education Programme: No