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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE -6
  • SYNONYMS
  • ELEVATION RANGE Low|Mid
  • FAMILY Zygophyllaceae
  • PLANT TYPE Large shrub-small tree
  • WATER REQUIRMENTS Drought tolerant
  • SOIL REQUIRMENTS Tolerates many soil types
  • SUN EXPOSURE Full Sun
  • SALT TOLERANCE Highly salt tolerant
  • DRAINAGE REQUIRED Requires good drainage
  • PROPAGATION METHODS Seeds

Guaiacum officinale
(lignum vitae, guayacan, pockholtz)

Lignum vitae is a small to medium tree with golden tinged foliage and small but pretty lavender flowers. Fruit is golden-yellow, heart-shaped, and contains a small seed that should be scarified before sowing. It is highly prized in woodworking because it is very dense, self-lubricating, and a durable hard wood. "Lignum vitae" means "wood of life" and the plant's resin was used to treat everything from a cough to arthritis. It is a slow growing tree native to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.

Plant Uses

  • Specimen
  • Container plant
  • Ornamental
  • Woodworking

Dangers

None