Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Guaiacum officinale

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Zygophyllaceae
Scientific name  Guaiacum officinale
Rank  Species
Order  Zygophyllales
Genus  Guaiacum
Higher classification  Guaiacum
Guaiacum officinale httpssmediacacheak0pinimgcomoriginalscc
Similar  Guaiacum, Guaiacum sanctum, Zygophyllaceae, Desmos chinensis, Aglaia odorata

Guaiacum officinale


Guaiacum officinale, commonly known as roughbark lignum-vitae, guaiacwood or gaïacwood, is a species of tree in the caltrop family, Zygophyllaceae, that is native to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.

Contents

Guaiacum officinale tree of life fruits


Description

This small tree is very slow growing, reaching about 10 m (33 ft) in height with a trunk diameter of 60 cm (24 in). The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most of its native range. The leaves are compound, 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in length, and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. The blue flowers have five petals that yield a bright-yellow-orange fruit with red flesh and black seeds.

Symbolism

G. officinale is the national flower of Jamaica.

Uses

G. officinale is one of two species yielding the true lignum vitae, the other being Guaiacum sanctum. Guaiac, a natural resin extracted from the wood, is a colorless compound that turns blue when placed in contact with substances that have peroxidase activity and then are exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Guaiac cards are impregnated with the resin and are used in determining whether stool contains blood. The heme portion of hemoglobin contains peroxidase and will catalyze the oxidation of guaiaconic acid when hydrogen peroxide is placed on the Guaiac card if blood is present in the stool.

Conservation

Roughbark lignum-vitae was listed as an endangered species by the IUCN in 1998. It has been overexploited for its valuable wood and medicinal products. International trade of this species is restricted because of its placement in CITES Appendix II.

References

Guaiacum officinale Wikipedia


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Desmos chinensis
Guaiacum
Guaiacum sanctum
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