Hanging on the Vine
As the weather on St. John gets drier, it’s hard not to appreciate the drought-tolerant vines of the island. Like other weeds, they don’t just survive, they flourish in dry weather. Unlike most weeds, however, these give the island amazing color and raise everyone’s spirits. Take the Bougainvillea, for example, a thorny woody vine-like shrub whose “flowers” are actually colored leaves that brighten the island landscape in hot colors of red, pink, purple, and orange. Or the Wild Allamanda (pictured), a.k.a. Yellow Mandevilla, a happy vine that continuously sprouts hundreds of delicate flowers. I’m rather partial to the sweeping artistic effect its rubber vine cousin, the Purple Allamanda, has on the island. All of these vines can assume their weed-like qualities and invade an area, but to me it feels more like they’re just being kind neighbors and adding joy in dry weather when other flowers cannot. Nice weed.