Lignum Vitae Bonsai Tree Care

Lignum Vitae Bonsai Tree, scientific name Guaiacum officinale, became very popular for its hard, extremely heavy wood known for its durability, waxiness, and self-lubricating qualities.

It is the heaviest and densest wood in the world and will rapidly sink to the bottom when placed in water. Lignum vitae means “long life” in Latin, which comes from its medical uses.

The resin has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions from coughs to arthritis.

Additional Information

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Scientific name: Guaiacum officinale

Common Names: Lignum Vitae, Tree of Life, Ironwood, Guajacum, Guaiac, Lignum Benedictum, Lignum Sanctum, Palus Sanctus.

Origin: Is native to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.

Appearance: It is an evergreen with oval, opposite, compound, bright green leaves and showy, deeply furrowed bark.

Flowering: In the late spring and early summer, it produces blue flowers with five petals that are later followed by bright orange fruits. Fruits have red flesh and black seeds.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Light Requirements: It prefers full sun but can tolerate a partial shade.

Water Requirements: It likes moist but well-drained soil. Needs to be watered regularly.

Hardiness: Grows best in the USDA Zones 9-11. Needs to be protected from temperatures below 40F.

Insects and Diseases: No pests or diseases of concern.

Propagation: By seeds.

Buy Lignum Vitae Bonsai Tree – $79.95