dcsimg

Comprehensive Description

provided by North American Flora
Guaiacum guatemalense Planchon, sp. nov
. Guaiacum guatemalense Planch.; A. Gray, PI. Wright. 1 : 59, hyponym. 1852.
A small tree, about 5 m. high ; stems slender, clothed with a somewhat corky bark ; leaves 3^ cm. long or more; leaflets 8-12, linear-oblong, 14-16 mm. long, 4-5 mm. wide, apiculate, glabrous above, minutely strigose beneath, rather strongly veined ; stipules subulate, mostly persisting ; flowers appearing .before the leaves, borne on slender pubescent, peduncles 15-20 mm. long, produced several together from the axils of leaves of preceding years; sepals 5, ovate or oblong, obtuse and rounded at the apex, 5-6 mm. long, the 3 inner nearly glabrous and broader than the 2 outer pubescent ones ; petals 5, oblong-obovate, azure-blue, 10-15 mm. long, raised on a slender claw ; filaments filiform, tapering from a broader flat base; anthers oblong, nearly 2 mm. long; ovary obovate, raised on a slender stalk, tapering at each end ; style slender ; fruit obovate, 10-15 mm. or more long, reddish or orange, with stipe 2 mm. long; seeds solitary, oblong-ovoid, 1 cm. long, pitted, reddish-brown; endosperm thick, bony; cotyledons flat, oblong, thickish, about 6
—mm. long, 3 mm. wide.
Type collected on hot plains of Zacapa, Guatemala, Skinner (herb. N. Y. Bot. Gard.). Distribution : Guatemala.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
bibliographic citation
John Kunkel Small, Lenda Tracy Hanks, Nathaniel Lord Britton. 1907. GERANIALES, GERANIACEAE, OXALIDACEAE, LINACEAE, ERYTHROXYLACEAE. North American flora. vol 25(1). New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY
original
visit source
partner site
North American Flora

Comprehensive Description

provided by North American Flora
Guaiacum sanctum L. Sp. PI. 382. 1753
Guaiacum vertical? Ortega, Hort. Matrit. 93. 1798.
Guaiacum mullijugum Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med. 2: 488. 1812.
Guaiacum pannfolium Nutt. N. Am. Svlva 3 : 17. 1849.
Guaiacum Sloahit Shuttlew.; A. Gray, PI. Wright. 1 : 29, as a synonym. 1852.
Guaiacum sanctum pannfolium Nutt.; Sargent, Silva N. Am. 1 : 63, as synonym. 1891.
A small evergreen tree, sometimes 10 m. tall ; trunk short and stout, clothed with a thin pale or white bark ; branches pendulous, enlarged at the nodes, somewhat furrowed; young branches pubescent or glabrate ; leaves 4-10 cm. long ; leaflets 4-10, oblong or obovate or rarely oblanceolate, 2-3.5 cm. long, glabrous, entire, inequilateral, usually apiculate or mucronate, subsessile, at maturity becoming coriaceous ; stipules pubescent, 3 mm. long, acuminate, usually caducous; flowers terminal, one or several borne on slender pubescent peduncles, which are shorter than the leaves, produced at the ends of the branches from the axils of the upper leaves ; sepals 5, obovate or oblong-obovate, 5-7 mm. long, pubescent and occasionally ciliate ; corolla blue or purple, about 2 cm. wide; petals 5, broadly obovate, cuneately narrowed below, 7-11 mm. long, 5-7 mm. broad, rounded at the apex; ovary obovate, prominently 5-angled, glabrous, short-stipitate at the base; fruit broadly obovoid, 14-17 mm. long, 12-14 mm. broad, greenish-yellow to bright-orange, opening at maturity by the splitting of the thick fleshy valves, prominently 5-angled and winged; seeds dark-brown or black, elliptic, 10-11 mm. long, covered with a fleshy scarlet aril; endosperm thick, bony; cotyledons oblong, 6 mm. long, 3-3.5 mm. broad.
Type locality : Porto Rico.
Distribution: Keys, South Florida ; Bahamas; Hispaniola; Porto Rico; Yucatan.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
bibliographic citation
John Kunkel Small, Lenda Tracy Hanks, Nathaniel Lord Britton. 1907. GERANIALES, GERANIACEAE, OXALIDACEAE, LINACEAE, ERYTHROXYLACEAE. North American flora. vol 25(1). New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY
original
visit source
partner site
North American Flora

Guaiacum sanctum

provided by wikipedia EN

Guaiacum sanctum, commonly known as holywood or holywood lignum-vitae, is a species of flowering plant in the creosote bush family, Zygophyllaceae. It is native to tropical America, from Mexico through Central America, Florida, the Caribbean, and northern South America.[3] It has been introduced to other tropical areas of the world. It is currently threatened by habitat loss in its native region, and as such, is currently rated near threatened on the IUCN Red List. Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of the Bahamas.[4]

Etymology

The native Taíno of the Caribbean referred to the tree as guayacán.[5] The common English name is a direct translation of the Spanish "palo santo" (not to be confused with Bursera graveolens). Francisco López de Gómara as well as Oviedo make reference to the specific species as such in their respective histories of the New World. It earned its name during the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World for its use treating syphilis, whose effects recalled the "evil" of the Black Death. Its scientific name is a Latinization of the Taíno guayacán as well as the word sanctum, meaning holy.

Properties

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. It is shade-tolerant. It fruits between the age for 30 and 70 years over the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere.[2]

The wood is hard, heavy and self-lubricating, and has a Janka Hardness Score of 4500,[6] which is one of the hardest in the world. It can sink when placed in water.[7] There are fine ripple marks on the wood.[8]

 src=
Leaves

Leaves

The leaves are compound, 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in length, and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. They are dark green in color and occur as three to five pairs of leaflets.[9] They fold together during the hottest parts of the day.[10]

Flower

The purplish blue flowers have five petals each. They can grow individually or in clusters at the ends of branches.[10] The flowers have both male and female parts (stamens and pistils) and yield yellow pods containing black seeds encapsulated separately in a red skin.[11]

 src=
Flower
 src=
Seed pods open to reveal red arils

Uses

This tree is one of two species that yield the valuable lignum vitae wood, the other being Guaiacum officinale.

The wood has been used for making specific parts of ships that needed to be self-lubricating so that they would last longer.

The tree is considered to have medicinal value, used mostly for home remedies. The naturalist William Turner noted in 1568 that the plant was already being grown in India, Tamraparni (ancient Sri Lanka), Java and the Tivu islets of the ocean, and whose broth cured several harsh diseases, including French pox (syphilis).[12][13] The bark can be steeped to create tonics.[4] It is also used as an ornamental plant.[9]

Threats

The type of rainforest (tropical-deciduous and dry forests) that holywood is found in are the most threatened ecosystems in the world.[2]

The plant was exploited until it was endangered due to use for timber and medical resin. Deforestation also occurred to create more human-managed areas like farmland, cities, etc.[2] This has caused habitat fragmentation for the species, which reduces the chances of lowering its risk status.[14] Moreover, since this is a slow-growing tree, it becomes harder to regrow and maintain sizable forests of it. It can be cultivated to grow faster, but needs to be watered regularly and to have well-drained soil.[11]

It has no major pests[11] and though there were cases of illegal trade in 2008, this is no longer a major threat to the species.[2]

References

  1. ^ Rivers, M.C. (2017). "Guaiacum sanctum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T32955A68085952. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Guaiacum sanctum". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  3. ^ U.S. National Plant Germplasm System
  4. ^ a b "National Symbols of the Bahamas". Bahamas Facts and Figures. TheBahamasGuide. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  5. ^ Dr. Coll Y Toste, Cayetano (1972). Diccionario Indígena. Enciclopedia Clásicos de Puerto Rico (in Spanish) (2nd ed.). Barcelona, Spain: Real Academia de la Historia.
  6. ^ Friedrich, K; Akpan, E; Wetzel, B (16 May 2017). "Structure and mechanical/abrasive wear behavior of a purely natural composite: black-fiber palm wood". Journal of Materials Science. 52 (17): 10217–10229. Bibcode:2017JMatS..5210217F. doi:10.1007/s10853-017-1184-5. S2CID 136327944.
  7. ^ "Guaiacum sanctum". Nature's Notebook. National Phenology Network. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  8. ^ Record, Samuel J. “Tier-Like Arrangement of the Elements of Certain Woods.” Science, vol. 35, no. 889, 1912, pp. 75–77. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1638125.
  9. ^ a b "Guaiacum sanctum - Plant Finder". www.missouribotanicalgarden.org. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  10. ^ a b "Holywood lignum vitae (Guaiacum sanctum)". Wildscreen Arkive. Wildscreem. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Stubbins, Mark (1999). Flowering Trees of Florida. Florida, USA: Pineapple Press. pp. 78–81.
  12. ^ Turner, William (1995). William Turner: A New Herball: Parts II and III. Cambridge University Press. p. 670. ISBN 9780521445498. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  13. ^ Munger, Robert S. "Guaiacum, the Holy Wood from the New World". Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, vol. 4, no. 2, 1949, pp. 196–229. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24619141.
  14. ^ Eric J. Fuchs, James L. Hamrick; Genetic Diversity in the Endangered Tropical Tree, Guaiacum sanctum (Zygophyllaceae), Journal of Heredity, Volume 101, Issue 3, 1 May 2010, Pages 284–291, https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esp127

 title=
license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN

Guaiacum sanctum: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Guaiacum sanctum, commonly known as holywood or holywood lignum-vitae, is a species of flowering plant in the creosote bush family, Zygophyllaceae. It is native to tropical America, from Mexico through Central America, Florida, the Caribbean, and northern South America. It has been introduced to other tropical areas of the world. It is currently threatened by habitat loss in its native region, and as such, is currently rated near threatened on the IUCN Red List. Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of the Bahamas.

license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN