Lignumvitae (Guaiacum sanctum)

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 Common Name Lignumvitae

Latin Name Guaiacum sanctum

Family Zygophyllaceae

Native Yes

Zone 10B-11

Height 8-12 Feet; 20-30 Feet Older Trees

Spread 8-12 Feet 

Salt Water Tolerance High  

Salt Wind Tolerance High  

Drought Tolerance High 

Soil tolerates most soil conditions 

Sun Full Sun; Partial Sun/Shade 

Wildlife Attractant Bees

Nellis, David W. (1994) Seashore Plants of South Florida and the Carribbean 1st Ed. Pineapple Press. Inc.


Main Uses

The Lignumvitae Sanctum is considered one of the most hurricane resistant trees, making it perfect for Florida landscapes.

Its high tolerance to drought, salt, and non ideal soil conditions make this plant great for the dry coastal forests and the seashore.


This plant is very much like its relative, the Roughbark Lignumvitae in its size and leaf shape, however it’s seed pod is rounder in shape than the Roughbark. 

Wildlife Attractant

When in bloom, its fragrant blue flowers attract bees as well as the eye.  The beautiful round seed pod turns orange when ripe, opening to reveal a bright red interior covering its seeds.


The Lignumvitae Sanctum is known for its hard wood, making it an ideal wood for manufacturing bowling balls back in the day. It was also greatly used for its medicinal leaves and bark centuries ago.  Due to its high demand, it was almost an eliminated species.

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