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Tree Handbook

Guayacan

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Montezuma Baldcypress
Texas Sabal Palm
Black Willow
Coyote Willow
Live Oak
Granjeno
Sugar Hackberry
Cedar Elm
Texas Ebony
Tenaza
Texas Huisache
Wright's Catclaw
Guajillo
Tepeguaje
Honey Mesquite
Retama
Texas Paloverde
Mescal Bean
Guayacan
Jopoy
Colima
Western Soapberry
Brasil
Coma Del Sur
Chapote
Rio Grande Ash
Anacahuita
Anacua

GUAYACAN Soapbush
Guaiacum angustifolium - Zygophyllaceae, Caltrop Family


DESCRIPTION: 
  • Small, many branched evergreen tree with coniferous appearance. 

  • Height: 8-10 feet, can reach 20 feet.

  • Flowers: Showy and fragrant, blue to purple; March.

  • Fruit: Heart-shaped capsules, open in autumn to reveal two vivid red-
    coated, black, bean-like seeds.

  • Foliage: Evergreen, dark-green leaflets fold at night and during heat of day.

  • Bark: Gray, fissured. rowth rate: Slow (in wild).

REQUIREMENTS:
  • Sun: Partial shade to full sun.

  • Soil: Any.

  • Drainage: Well-drained.

  • Water: Low; drought tolerant.

  • Maintenance: Little needed.

  • Propagation: Seed.


NATIVE HABITAT: 

Brush-grasslands; some relatively large specimens on resaca banks in Cameron County.

 

WILDLIFE USE: 

Cover, nest sites; flowers attract bees; foliage important as deer and livestock browse.

COMMENTS: 

Root bark used as soap (does not fade colors); root extracts used to treat various diseases; good honey source; densest wood in Texas; hard, heavy and self-lubricating; fenceposts and tool handles. Very difficult to propagate from seed or to successfully transplant from the wild; very small leaves lie close to branches to form an evergreen, conifer look.

 
 

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