soapbush Zygophyllaceae Guaiacum angustifolium Engelm. Listen to the Latin symbol: GUAN Other Fact Sheets
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.

Looks like: guayacan
leaf fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Guaiacum angustifolium is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting soapbush.
External Links:
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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