SelecTree: Tree Detail

LIGNUM VITAE
Guaiacum officinale

Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale Guaiacum officinale

Photo Locations: Foster Botanical Garden - Honolulu, HI

General Notes

Lignum vitae, the national tree of Jamaica, is a slow-growing, often multi-stemmed small tree with the world’s most dense wood. Its purple flowers are produced in late spring or summer followed by profuse orange fruit in late summer and fall. A resin derived from the wood of this tree is used medicinally. Guaiacum officinale has a HPWRA (Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of -6 (Low Risk), and the Plant Pono link is: https://plantpono.org/pono-plants/guaiacum-officinale/.

Native to Tropical Americas.

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Additional Common Names

LIGNUM VITAE, ROUGHBARK LIGNUM VITAE, GUAIACWOOD

Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading with a High Canopy.

Rounded Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 15 - 30 feet.

Width: 10 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 Inches per Year.

Leaves Pinnately Compound with Oval Leaflets, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Blue. Flowers in Spring, Summer or Fall. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Prolific, Orange-Yellow Capsule, Medium (0.50 - 1.50 inches), fruiting in Spring, Summer or Fall Wildlife use it.

Bark Light Gray, Light Brown, Scaly or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate to Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Flowers, Dry Fruit and Leaves.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 12.

Exposure Full Sun.

Wet to Moist Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay or Loam Texture.

Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland and on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Medium.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Birds and Bees.

Wildlife use Fruit.

Special Uses & Values

Seaside Tree, Street Tree, Flowering Tree, Xerophytic.

Bonsai.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Guaiacum officinale Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/guaiacum-officinale >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.