Guaiacum sanctum

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Guaiacum sanctum
Guaiacum sanctum.jpg
specimen at United States Botanic Garden
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Zygophyllales
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Guaiacum
Species: G. sanctum
Binomial name
Guaiacum sanctum

Guaiacum guatemalense Planch. ex Rydb.[2]

Guaiacum sanctum, commonly known as Holywood or Holywood Lignum-vitae, is a species of flowering plant in the creosote bush family, Zygophyllaceae. It ranges from southern Florida in the United States and the Bahamas south to Central America and the Greater Antilles.[2] It is threatened by habitat loss.

This tree is one of two species which yield the valuable Lignum vitae wood, the other being Guaiacum officinale. This small tree is slow growing, reaching about 7 m (23 ft) in height with a trunk diameter of 50 cm (20 in). The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most of its native range. The leaves are compound, 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in length, and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. The purplish blue flowers have five petals each, and yield yellow pods containing black seeds encapsulated separately in a red skin.

Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of the Bahamas.[3]

Flower of G. sanctum


  1. ^ Americas Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Costa Rica) 1998. Guaiacum sanctum. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Archived 2014-06-27 at the Wayback Machine. Downloaded on 21 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Taxon: Guaiacum sanctum L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-03-05. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  3. ^ "National Symbols of the Bahamas". Bahamas Facts and Figures. TheBahamasGuide. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Guaiacum sanctum at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Guaiacum sanctum at Wikispecies