Guayacan, Soapbush_234_P0000259

Guayacan, Soapbush

Guaiacum angustifolium

Melastomataceae


Description

Guayacan is an unusual evergreen shrub in the Caltrop Family. It has extremely hard wood, and its branches are so short that the leaves seem to be growing from the stem.

The leaves are pinnate and have tightly clusterd groups of 4 to 8 tiny leaflets that grow in pairs. From March to April its numerous fragrant flowers bloom, each are about 1 inch wide and has 5 violet-purple or pink petals. The fruit is yellow and has 1 to 3 shiny red seeds in each.

Guayacan offers good forage for deer and excellent cover for birds and small mammals.


Habitat

Guayacan is found on dry, poor soils of south and west Texas.


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