SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Foster Botanical Garden - Honolulu, HI
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.
Additional Common Names
LIGNUM VITAE, ROUGHBARK LIGNUM VITAE, GUAIACWOOD
Erect or Spreading with a High Canopy.
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.
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.
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Guaiacum officinale Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/guaiacum-officinale >