What do the lantana camara, the pelecanus occidentalis and the royal poinciana have in common apart from long, unpronounceable Latin names? In fact, the orange-yellow sage, the brown pelican and the flamboyant tree are all sacred to every citizen of St. Maarten. They are, respectively, the national flower, national bird and national tree. The flamboyant tree is also called the flame tree due to its red, yellow and orange blossoms (between June and September). It is actually native to Madagascar, but can now be found throughout the entire Caribbean. The tree also symbolises emancipation. The brown pelican is part of the St. Maarten coat of arms and can be seen near its nesting grounds at Fort Amsterdam. The yellow sage is also known as the blood flower due to its low water requirements and its tolerance to extreme heat. It's often grown in local gardens.