8 Scientific Discoveries You Probably Didn’t Know Were Jamaican


The Citrus Ortanique
Ortanique is a natural tangor, a hybrid of the mandarin orange and the sweet orange, that was discovered in Jamaica. The name is a combination of “or” for orange, “tan” for tangerine and “ique” for unique. Most ortaniques are still grown in the parish of Manchester in Jamaica. Since this fruit thrives in altitudes of 100 feet or more, the cool climate and bauxite-rich soils are ideal for the growing of this crop. Efforts to grow the fruit elsewhere have failed to reproduce the distinctive flavor of Manchester-grown ortaniques.


Four Breeds of Cattle
The Jamaica Red, The Jamaica Hope, The Jamaica Black and The Jamaica Brahman were all cattle developed in Jamaica by Dr. Thomas Lecky.

According to the Jamaica Gleaner, “The cattle at the time [early 1900s] were descendants of animals brought by the Spanish and the British hundreds of years before. In general, they were slow to mature, grew on grass and water, had a low milk production and a low proportion of meat around the haunches and ribs. They were, however, champion haulers of carts and resistant to tick fever and other tropical diseases.”

After studying animal genetics at McGill University in Montreal and animal husbandry at the University of Toronto, Lecky returned to Jamaica in 1935 to begin his crossbreeding experiments. Lecky would later receive Jamaica’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Merit, for creating new breeds based on foreign cattle that reproduce on their own without acting like crossbreeds or hybrids.

Back to top