The Guayacán clings to the Canarian earth

Thursday, 28 July, 2016

It is not endemic or indigenous to Fuerteventura but its origin shares with the Canary Islands the best climate in the world. It comes from the Caribbean and, although it is slow growing, its rapid development indicates that it is eager to grow in its new home.

From Puerto del Rosario to the hillsides

Our guayacán bloomed for the first time and in September we will be able to see its fruits. The doctor and head of the Botanical Garden Oasis Park Fuerteventura, Stephan Scholz, did not imagine that this little tree will increase to ten times its size once it touched volcanic soil, it is not normal. And now he observes expectantly this example whose seeds will go into the nursery of the park. Therefore, it is the first one in Fuerteventura but not the only one. Because of a lack of space, its former owner, who lives in Puerto del Rosario, donated a collection of 40 trees just three years ago. Among them, the guayacán. Although they are plants that grow isolated - since they do not form groups - they share ground with baobabs of Madagascar or Colvilleas. These have also adapted perfectly to the conditions of the Botanical Garden. .

“EIt is the first guayacán of Fuerteventura but not the only one. We have fruits and their seeds will go to nursery”,  Stephan S. 

In the Red List and the target of different industries

The Guayacán of the Botanical Garden is a species threatened by over-exploitation for almost 500 years. The benefits of it’s timber have backfired. That is why the species is included on the Red List of vulnerable trees according to the Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Guaiacum officinale, the scientific name of Guayacán, has one of the hardest woods known. It is also distinguished from many other trees for its special natural sheen, its fine texture and polish. It is also such a heavy Wood that it sinks in water! All these noble characteristics explain why it is used for the axes of the propellers of boats, the construction of pens, posts or even for the  floors of family homes. For being also an excellent fuel guayacán is used for coal. .

A great ally of health

Caribbean ethnicities discovered its healing properties and now universities, research their medicinal properties. Precisely the medicinal use extends not only to the cortex but to its leaves and fruit too.

Foto de un Guayacán. Ministerio de Turismo. Gobierno de Ecuador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of a Guayacán. Ministry of Tourism. Government of Ecuador

 

The Guayacán in our Botanical Garden is located in one of the most rocky areas of the park. Its yellow and blue flower clusters print colour on the surrounding hillsides. So it will be every year from June to September. In a few years this area will be an extension of the lung Oasis Park Fuerteventura. It will give priority to the green as the guayacán always maintains this color, even in winter unlike most trees around.