Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tree Thursday - Bulnesia

Bulnesia or Verawood
Bulnesia arborea

Verawood or Bulnesia trees are beautiful medium-sized flowering trees that you are seeing more and more of in South Florida.  This tree is in the same family as lignum vitae (Guaiacum sanctum).  Bulnesias bloom gorgeous butter-colored flowers at least seven months out of the year starting in April.  It does seem to have a much stronger root system than the Cassias that we are using Bulnesias to replace.  The Bulnesia’s wide, dense, round canopy makes it an excellent shade tree, and it responds well to pruning.

Bulnesia trees are native to coastal forests of Venezuela and Columbia and were introduced to South Florida by David Fairchild of Fairchild Tropical Gardens.  While in their native habitat, they can reach heights of 100 feet, the oldest one at Fairchild Tropical Gardens is only slightly over 30 feet.  In South America it is harvested for its wood (see picture below).  There are quite a few in bloom right now in the median of SW 4th Avenue just before State Road 84. 

Growth Rate: Slow to medium
Salt Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-7704 Fax - (954) 828-7897

Think before you print!