Get To Know Your Florida Plant [11]: Lignum vitae

Guaiacum Sanctum - Lignum vitae, "Tree of Life" is commonly cited as an endangered plant species in South Florida. We couldn't find the plant on any endangered species list but we accepted the general consensus and sought to do our small part to reestablish it in one of our projects, Broward Specialty Center. Part of the landscape concept for this project is "Discovery and Continuity" so we specified six Lignum vitae in the project as the "discovery" part of the concept. We placed them in areas where the architecture is less interesting and could benefit from the vibrant periwinkle colors when the tree is blooming in spring and summer.


The tree's characteristics are: drought and salt tolerance, slow growing (which we don't like) dense, hard wood that is decay and pest resistant. We visited this plant at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Fairchild Botanical Gardens and the specimens we saw were 8-12 feet tall.


Reestablishing this plant in the State's landscape will happen one project at a time--and will take local homeowners planting one or two in their own yards. Start by downloading our data sheet on the plant.