Tabebuia guayacan (Seem.) Hemsl.
Tecoma guayacan Seem.
Handroanthus guayacan is a deciduous tree with a narrow or rounded crown, that can grow up to 60 metres tall, though is usually no more than 40 metres. The straight, cylindrical bole, which often has low but prominent buttresses, can be 60cm in diameter and free of branches for 12 - 15 metres[
The tree yields a very good quality timber that is traded internationally. Where space permits, the tree is often planted as an ornamental, being valued especially for its flowering display.
The sawdust may cause dermatitis, disturbance of vision and shortness of breath in some workers[
Northern S. America - Colombia; through Central America to Mexico.
]. Wet to rather dry forest, often in open places, at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
]. Virgin forests and on mountain slopes[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of mainly moist areas in the lowland tropics, though it can also be found at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
Plants are tolerant of salt-laden winds[
This species is closely related to Handroanthus chrysanthus[
The heartwood is olive-brown to reddish-brown, often with lighter or darker fine striping, sometimes tinged with red; rather sharply demarcated from the creamy-white or yellowish sapwood which is 50 - 75mm wide[
]. The appearance is frequently oily; yellow-green deposits of lapachol are abundant; the lustre is low to medium; the grain typically interlocked producing a fine, stripe figure on quarter-sawn surfaces; the texture is fine to medium, moderately uniform[
]. The wood is hard, dense, durable, resistant to insect attack, resilient and highly resistant to shock[
]. It is reported to be rather difficult to work and inclined to splinter, but it finishes very smoothly, turns well and polishes nicely. It is difficult to glue and pre-boring is necessary before nailing[
]. The wood is highly esteemed where available, and is considered excellent for construction purposes, especially where durability is important[
]. It is also used for boats, tool handles etc[
The Cathedral of Panama Vieja contained beams of this wood, and these were reported to be perfectly sound after having been exposed to the weather since the destruction of the city some 250 years previously[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.