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Bulnesia arborea - (Jacq.) Engl.

Common Name Verawood
Family Zygophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A common tree of the dry shorelines and foothills[ 307 ].
Range S. America - Colombia and Venezuela.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Bulnesia arborea Verawood

Bulnesia arborea Verawood


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Verawood or Bulnesia arborea is a slow-growing, evergreen, flowering tree that grows around 15 m high with trunk diameter of up to 50 cm. It is drought tolerant and sometimes used as an ornamental plant. It is native to Colombia and Venezuela and known for its durable timber used in water turbines, mallet heads, pulley wheels, brush backs, and for railway crossties. Verawood can be grown through seeds, cuttings, or layering.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Bulnesia arborea is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 16 m (52ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Guaiacum arboreum (Jacq.) DC. Zygophyllum arboreum Jacq.


Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


Other uses rating: High (4/5). Large flowering tree, Street tree, Specimen, Public open space, Bonsai subject, Xerophytic. The timber is exceptionally durable and so the tree is commonly harvested from the wild. It is also sometimes grown as an ornamental[307]. The heartwood is more or less striped and banded, varying in colour from light olive green to chocolate brown[ 316 ]. The surface of fresh wood often turns dark green upon exposure[ 316 ]. The sapwood is mostly thin and light yellow in colour[ 316 ]. The wood is fine textured, cross-grained, with an oily appearance and feel, mildly and pleasantly scented when warmed[ 316 ]. Owing to its high density and the resinous nature of the timber, the wood dries slowly and needs careful handling to avoid splitting, it is also prone to ring shake[ 316 ]. When seasoned, it is not easy to work either with machine or hand tools but does turn well in the lathe[ 316 ]. The heartwood is very durable under exposure and will last indefinitely in the ground[ 316 ]. There are reports that posts made from it have lasted for 300 years without rotting[ 307 ]. Because of its high density and self-lubrication, the wood has many uses similar to that of Lignum vitae (Guaiacum officinale), but is not considered as suitable for propeller-shaft bushings[ 316 ]. It is used as steps and collars for water turbines, mallet heads, pulley wheels, brush backs, locally for railway crossties[ 316 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a fertile, well-drained soil and a position in full sun[ 307 ]. Established plants are very drought tolerant and also tolerate salt-laden winds[ 307 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Seed - Cuttings. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Verawood or Bulnesia arborea

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Found In

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Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Bulnesia sarmientoiPao SantoTree18.0 10-12 SLMHNDM014

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Jacq.) Engl.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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