Loved for its purple to blue-violet flowers that yield bright red fruits, lignum vitae is heat, drought and salt tolerant, making it stupendous as a specimen in the coastal tropics. A rounded evergreen tree from the northern coastline of South America and the Caribbean islands, it is extremely slow growing and has a crooked, knotty form that adds to its beauty. The wood is very dense and does not float.
Grow lignum vitae in full sun in an exceptionally well-drained soil that is moist in the heat of the growing season. More slowly growing in the wild, this plant will increase its pace with fertilization and organic mulch in the garden.