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Description for Guaiac
Guaiacum officinale, commonly known as rough bark lignum-vitae, guaiac wood or gaiacwood, is a species of tree in the caltrop family, Zygophyllaceae, that is native to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.
The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most of its native range. The leaves are compound, 2.5 to 3 cm in length, and 2 cm wide. Flowers are showy, to 2.5 cm across, bluish purple, fading to white.
The flowers have five petals which yield a bright yellow-orange fruit with red flesh and black seeds.
Planting and care
Fill a 4 to 6 inch pot with a soilless seed starting the potting mix. Use a pot that has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Prepare one pot for each lignum vitae seed.
Make a 1/4-inch-deep hole in the center of the pot with your index finger. Drop one seed into the hole and then smooth the soil back over it.
Caring for Guaiac
- Water the potting mix in the pot until it is evenly damp and water starts to seep out of the hole in the bottom. Place the pot or pots containing the lignum vitae seeds in a bright area, out of indirect light.
Maintain a constant temperature between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit around the seeds during germination. Maintaining warmth during germination is important.
Typical uses of Guaiac
Special features: Where winter hardy, it grows well in coastal plantings. Also serves as an attractive ornamental lawn tree. It also can be grown as a shrub. May be grown in containers due to slow growth rate.
Culinary use: NA
Ornamental use: The plant is used for an ornamental purpose.
Medicinal use: Unverified information Some of the resins active ingredients are effective anti-inflammatory agents. Due to this fact, it is used against a sore throat and gout.
Note: Please consult your health expert.
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