Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tree of Life

Here is the mystery tree from the horticultural gardens - i think it is the Lignum Vitae/ Guaiacum officinale or the Tree of Life but am not very sure.. if you know what it is (or if you know for a fact that it is not the Tree of Life) do leave a comment!

I love everything about this tree - its greenish brown trunk, shiny dark green petite leaves and purplish blue flowers. I love the way the flowers give it a blue haze when it is in full bloom and i love the big clumps that the branches and leaves form.

The wood from this tree, if it is the Lignum Vitae, is the densest form of wood and it is very resistant to rot. But who would have the heart to cut this beauty down for its wood?


Maria said...

Hi Arati,
You will not believe the number of times I have asked about this same tree at the horticultural society!! Isn't she absolutely beautiful? The mottled bark on her trunk is gorgeous and her flowers too!
I keep asking the lady there if the tree can be propogated through a cutting but she says that it's extremely difficult and they have failed at repeated attempts to do so. Any idea if there is any way to get a sapling? Also, any idea if this tree is native to Chennai or a foreign species?

ROS said...

Hi Maria,

I have been having my doubts as to what the name of this tree is.. (in my enthusiasm to publish the picture i forgot to change the title of the post to one asking for the identity - am doing so now) I'm hoping one of the readers can enlighten us.
I did not get a good picture of the flower, which might have helped with the identification.
I'll continue to dig for information and post it on here if anything comes up :)

ROS said...

Maria, if it is the Lignum Vitae, it is native to Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

Lignum Vitae is a common name for Guaiacum officinale.- Tabish

Anonymous said...

Yes it is indeed a Guaiacum officinale, its purple bluish smallflowers looks beautiful. This tree is very suitable for Bonsai becauseof its slow growing habit, small leaves and flowers and withstand hardprunning. for its propagation, carefully look under its canopy, youwill find naturally grown seedlings in August-September. It isdifficult to grow seedlings in nursery by collecting seeds. I foundthis tree in Maharajbag, Nagpur. Vishal Wankhade

aseitas said...

I have one in my backyard, it just made three saplings and I wanted to make sure I nurtured them correctly so I googled, and your blog popped up. That is a HUGE lignum vitae! They grow so slowly I'm amazed you found one so big! The one in my yard has been there for twenty years and it barely looks any bigger than the day we planted it.