Verawood is a very attractive tropical flowering tree with brilliant yellow flowers present for several months. It is a moderate size tree typically 40 - 50 feet tall, but in the wild can be taller. It has an erect, slender straight trunk, free of branches for 15 - 20 feet. It has a spreading, dense, finely branched crown, which can be wider than the tree is tall. Leaves are pinnate, even, opposite, olive green, to 5 inches in length with 7 - 14 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are borne in terminal clusters; blooms are large, 5-petaled, about 3 inches across, golden yellow and very showy. Fruits consist of 5 broadly winged capsules, each with a single seed.
It is a valuable timber tree. It is related to Lignum Vitae and it has similar, hard, fine wood. The wood is greenish-brown in color, very dense, durable, self-lubricating, is aromatic and has multiple uses, such as for tool handles. The wood is sometimes sold as Argentine Lignum Vitae.
In its native range, this tree is grown for its hard wood more than its lovely flowers and neat landscape appearance. Verawood is tolerant of poor soils, but they should be well drained. Young plants need watering and pruning to form a single trunk and shape the crown. Landscaping applications include under power lines, as a specimen, accent or shade tree in a small yard or park, and along streets if set back to allow for its spreading habit. It is native to Columbia and Venezuela.
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or pat shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.