soapbush Zygophyllaceae Guaiacum angustifolium
Leaf:Opposite or crowded on spur shoots, pinnately compound, evergreen, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, with 6 to 8 pairs of very small, lance-shaped often curving leaflets, petiole grooved, dark green above and below, fold up at night.
Flower:Attractive, 1/2 inch across, bright purple, 5 broad petals, occur on a long stem either singly or in small clusters from leaf axils, appearing throughout the year after rain events.
Fruit:Heart-shaped, shiny, reddish brown, flattened capsule (1 inch long) with 2 to 4 lobes, shiny red seeds burst from capsules in the fall.
Twig:Slender, gray-brown with numerous short, knotty spur shoots.
Bark:Smooth light gray, becoming darker and rough with age.
Form:A dense, multi-branched, crooked limbed shrub or small tree up to 10 to 15 feet tall with a broad crown.