Though relatively small as far as botanical gardens go, at just eight hectares (20 acres), the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Botanic Gardens is one of the oldest such institutions in the Western Hemisphere. Founded in 1765, the gardens played a key role in the development of British colonialism. It was here that botanists studied plants from breadfruit to black pepper that would later be transported to colonies around the world. Today the gardens have largely left behind their focus on agriculture and are primarily a showcase of tropical plants. There is also an aviary that is home to the St. Vincent parrot, the country's national bird. Travelers with a green thumb will also want to visit the Montreal Gardens, a lush three-hectare (seven-acre) oasis divided into three sections: a rain forest garden, a color garden and a formal garden.