GUAIACUM OFFICINALE - LIGNUM VITAE.
Lignum vitae, guajacum, guaiac, lignum benedictum, lignum sanctum, palus sanctus, guajakbaum, pockholz.
Zygophyllaceae (Bean-caper or Caltrop family)
A evergreen tree, indigenous to the West Indies and the northern coast of South America, It grows slowly, up to 55 feet tall although it seldom grows taller than 30'.
It has a twisted trunk; opposite oval compound leaves and blue flowers with five petals. It has bright yellow-orange fruits with red flesh and black seeds.
The wood is one of the hardest; has several fats and resins that makes it self lubricating and almost impervious to water.
Some of the resins active ingredients are effective anti inflammatory agents.
Due to this fact, it is used against sore throat and gout.
It is also used in chronic rheumatism, scrofula, and syphilitic diseases.
USDA zone 9 - 11.
Due to recalcitrant nature of the seeds, they have a short viable life, can not be dried well and can not withstand low temperatures.
Full sun, protect from low temperature.
Recalcitrant seeds are not refundable since they are prone to fungus and often difficult to germinate.
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