Shak Shak Seeds
The long, thin, brown-toned seeds are from the Flamboyant Tree, the National Tree of St.Kitt's and Nevis. The species is Delonix regia, and it is also know as the Royal Poinciana. Here we call it "shak-shak." Shak-shak is an onomatopoeia, as the word "shak-shak" mimics the sound the pod makes when it is shaken. These pods, which grow up to 2-feet long and are brown and woody, are traditionally played here as a percussion in- strument. Monkeys tear through the pods and eat the seeds when they are young. We collect the seeds when they are dry, drill them, and incorporate them into unique pieces of jewelry.
The Flamboyant Tree blooms in late spring/early summer with a riot of brilliant reddish orange flowers. A few trees on the island even bear flowers that are closer to yellow. The flowers are edible - my kids love to munch on them but the pollen is a very sticky red that takes awhile to come off their little noses and from around their mouths.
Truly these trees are stunning and a real delight to see in their glory. We are proud to share with you this piece of natural beauty and national heritage. Enjoy! And remember, seeds don't like a lot of water unless you are planting them!