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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Guaiacum angustifolium Engelm.
Texas lignum-vitae, Guayacan, Soapbush
Synonym(s): Porlieria angustifolia
USDA Symbol: guan
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A leafy, compact evergreen, guayacan rarely grows higher than 6 feet, though under favorable conditions it may grow twice that high. It is often darker than surrounding shrubs, due to the stems being covered with dark green leaves. Leaves are pinnately compound, with 4–8 pairs of small, leathery leaflets. Flowers, which have 5 petals, are violet to purple, 1 inch across, with prominent yellow anthers. The blossom is followed by small, heart-shaped pods that burst open at maturity, exposing 2 scarlet-red, shiny seeds.
The bark of the roots is sometimes used as soap for washing woolen goods, as it does not fade colors. Guayacan is also a good honeybee plant. It does best at elevations below 4,000 feet.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Complexity: Pinnate Size Notes:
3-6 Flower: Flower
Orange, 1 inch across Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: TX Native Distribution:
Chaparral & brush country, Prairie/Plains/Meadows/Pastures/Savannahs Native Habitat:
Chaparral & brush country, Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Grows in clumps, Aromatic, Long-living, Fruits ornamental
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-insects, Nesting site, Browse, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Gray hairstreak butterfly, Lyside hairstreak butterfly.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-MLE-12
Collected 2009-11-13 in Terrell County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2013-05-28
Research By: TWC Staff