Zanthoxylum flavum

Zanthoxylum flavum Vahl

Common Names: Yellow Wood, Satin Wood, Yellow Sanders, Yellow Heart

Family: Rutaceae

Habit: Zanthoxylum flavum grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 11 meters in height with a trunk to 50 cm in diameter.  The vegetation has a fine pubescence.  The oddly pinnate, compound leaves are arranged alternately to 25 cm in length.  The leaflets are up to 8 cm in length, ovate to elliptic with an oblique leaf base, an obtuse leaf apex and an entire or crenulate leaf margin.  The leaves have pellucid punctate dots and are aromatic when crushed.

Zanthoxylum flavum is dioecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal panicles.  The calyx has 4 unfused green sepals.  The corolla has 4 greenish-white, unfused petals. Staminate flowers have 4 stamens and a non-functional ovary.  The carpellate flowers have no stamens and 1-3 unfused carpels. Each superior ovary has 1 locule and 1 seed.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity producing black seeds.

Habitat: Zanthoxylum flavum grows in coastal Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Woodland/Shrubland (coppice/scrubland) on a sand substrate.

Distribution: Zanthoxylum flavum grows on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida and the Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Zanthoxylum flavum is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

Zanthoxylum flavum is used in the horticultural industry and is a highly prized for cabinetry and other wood working for its distinctive wood color.