Plectrocarpa arborea

Plectrocarpa arborea (Jacq.) Christenh. & Byng

Synonym: Bulnesia arborea

Common Names: Maracaibo Lignum Vitae

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Habit: Plectrocarpa arborea grows as a small shrub to medium size tree up to 10 meters in height.  The trunk can be to 50 cm in diameter but usually much smaller and branching at its base.  The pinnately compound leaves are arranged oppositely with 7-9 opposite leaflets that are elongate with a rounded leaflet apex.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged solitarily in leaf axils.  The calyx has five unfused sepals.  The corolla has 5 unfused, clawed petals that are orange/yellow. The fruit is a multi-, wavy-winged capsule.

Habitat: Plectrocarpa arborea grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, arboretum).

Distribution: Plectrocarpa arborea is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Plectrocarpa arborea is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

It is grown as an ornamental.