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Handroanthus guayacan - (Seem.) S.Grose

Common Name Guayacan
Family Bignoniaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The sawdust may cause dermatitis, disturbance of vision and shortness of breath in some workers[341 ].
Habitats Coastal rainforests[307 ]. Wet to rather dry forest, often in open places, at elevations up to 1,200 metres[331 ]. Virgin forests and on mountain slopes[341 ].
Range Northern S. America - Colombia; through Central America to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Handroanthus guayacan Guayacan
Handroanthus guayacan Guayacan
Ama la Vida Flickr


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Handroanthus guayacan is a deciduous tree with a narrow or crowded crown that can be found in northern South America. It grows about 60 m in height with trunk diameter of up to 60 cm. It has low but prominent buttresses. It is a source of high quality timber and it is also planted as an ornamental due to its attractive yellow inflorescence. Not only is the wood hard, durable, and dense, it is also resistant to insect attack. It finishes smoothly and is considered excellent for construction uses. It is used for tool handles, boats, etc. Plant propagation is through seeds, cuttings of half ripe wood, and air layering.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Handroanthus guayacan is a deciduous Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Tabebuia guayacan (Seem.) Hemsl. Tecoma guayacan Seem.


Edible Uses

None known


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


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Other Uses

Other Uses: The heartwood is olive-brown to reddish-brown, often with lighter or darker fine striping, sometimes tinged with red; rather sharply demarcated from the creamy-white or yellowish sapwood which is 50 - 75mm wide[341 ]. The appearance is frequently oily; yellow-green deposits of lapachol are abundant; the lustre is low to medium; the grain typically interlocked producing a fine, stripe figure on quarter-sawn surfaces; the texture is fine to medium, moderately uniform[341 ]. The wood is hard, dense, durable, resistant to insect attack, resilient and highly resistant to shock[46 , 341 ]. It is reported to be rather difficult to work and inclined to splinter, but it finishes very smoothly, turns well and polishes nicely. It is difficult to glue and pre-boring is necessary before nailing[341 ]. The wood is highly esteemed where available, and is considered excellent for construction purposes, especially where durability is important[331 ]. It is also used for boats, tool handles etc[46 ]. The Cathedral of Panama Vieja contained beams of this wood, and these were reported to be perfectly sound after having been exposed to the weather since the destruction of the city some 250 years previously[331 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

A plant of mainly moist areas in the lowland tropics, though it can also be found at elevations up to 1,200 metres[331 ]. Plants are tolerant of salt-laden winds[200 ]. This species is closely related to Handroanthus chrysanthus[331 ].


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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[200 ]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood[200 ]. Air layering[200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here


Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Belize; Colombia; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

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.

Conservation Status

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

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Handroanthus impetiginosusPau D'Arco, Pink Trumpet TreeTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNM243
Handroanthus serratifoliusYellow Trumpet TreeTree30.0 10-12 MLMHNM025

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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Expert comment


(Seem.) S.Grose

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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