Guaiacum arboreum (Jacq.) DC.
Zygophyllum arboreum Jacq.
Common Name: Verawood
Verawood is a slow-growing, evergreen tree that can reach up to 30 metres in height but is more commonly 12 - 15 metres tall[
]. The bole is slender, straight, and of rather good form, 35 - 50cm in diameter and free of branches for 4.5 - 6 metres[
The timber is exceptionally durable and so the tree is commonly harvested from the wild. It is also sometimes grown as an ornamental[
S. America - Colombia and Venezuela.
A common tree of the dry shorelines and foothills[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a fertile, well-drained soil and a position in full sun[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant and also tolerate salt-laden winds[
The heartwood is more or less striped and banded, varying in colour from light olive green to chocolate brown[
]. The surface of fresh wood often turns dark green upon exposure[
]. The sapwood is mostly thin and light yellow in colour[
]. The wood is fine textured, cross-grained, with an oily appearance and feel, mildly and pleasantly scented when warmed[
]. Owing to its high density and the resinous nature of the timber, the wood dries slowly and needs careful handling to avoid splitting, it is also prone to ring shake[
]. When seasoned, it is not easy to work either with machine or hand tools but does turn well in the lathe[
]. The heartwood is very durable under exposure and will last indefinitely in the ground[
]. There are reports that posts made from it have lasted for 300 years without rotting[
]. Because of its high density and self-lubrication, the wood has many uses similar to that of Lignum vitae (Guaiacum officinale), but is not considered as suitable for propeller-shaft bushings[
]. It is used as steps and collars for water turbines, mallet heads, pulley wheels, brush backs, locally for railway crossties[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.