Guaiacum sanctum



wildlife plant

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Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: tree
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Flower Color: flower color      purple
Fruit Color: fruit color      orange
Phenology: evergreen
Noted for: Showy flowers, showy fruits, hurricane wind resistance, interesting foliage


Recommended Uses: Specimen plant.
Considerations: Very slow growing--as little as an inch per year after the seedling stage if not fertilized.
Availability: Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: light requirement   light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Highly salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, lime rock


wildlife plant  
Larval host for Lyside Sulfur (Kricogonia lyside)
Native Habitats: Rockland hammock.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:


Extensive history of human uses, especially for the wood, which is so dense that it sinks in water. Its wood was highly prized for propellers and judges' gavels. Because it's resinous, the wood was also good for ball bearings and hinges--they are self lubricating.

Other Comments:

While most of these slow-growing trees were harvested for their wood, one Florida key retained its population, because it was privately owned. It's now the Lignum-Vitae State Park, which is accessible only via boat.