Characteristics of Divi-Divi Tree (Libidibia coriaria) in the Wild

Libidibia coriaria
Divi-Divi or Watapana (Libidibia coriaria syn Caesalpinia coriaria) is a plant native to the Netherlands, northern South America, Central America, and southern Mexico. These are medicinal trees by many names, they are called Dividivi, Cascalote, Guaracabuya, Guatapana, Nacascol, Watapana, Huatapana, Ababán, Agallo, Nacascolo, Tara del Caribe and many more.

Caesalpinia is the name of a plant genus given in honor of the Italian botanist Andrea Cesalpino (1519-1603).

USES IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE
The bark and leaves are used to treat heart disease and dyspepsia, the roots are used as an antiseptic in ulcerations and treat gangrene. In Colombia, local people make cholesterol-cleaning drinks from this part of the tree. The fruit juice of Caesalpinia spinosa is used to clean mites and treat tonsillitis. Boiled leaves and flowers of Caesalpinia tinctoria, used as a laxative, boiled fruit are believed to treat diarrhea and flower extracts are efficacious for treating intermittent fever.

 
In the 1980s, a second-year science student presented an experimental research paper entitled “Study of Caesalpinea coriaria as a possible reduction in the size of the tonsils”, which resulted in not only reducing them but also healing them. This work was presented at the National Science Festival organized by ASOVAC, in the city of Barquisimeto, in Venezuela.

 

Characteristics of Divi-Divi Leaf

Libidibia coriaria Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/romangro

The leaves are needle-like with 3-10 pairs, 5-12 cm long, each with 10-25 pairs of leaflets 4-8 mm long and 2 mm wide.

 

Characteristics of Divi-Divi Flower

Libidibia coriaria Flower
Source: inaturalist.org/gumercindo-pimentel

The flowers are 3-5 cm long, individual racemose panicles 1-2 cm long, with 15-20 flowers, petals are creamy yellowish to greenish-white, 2.5-3 mm wide.

 

Characteristics of Divi-Divi Fruit

Libidibia coriaria Fruit
Source: inaturalist.org/gumercindo-pimentel

The fruit is flat, with irregular curved edges, few seeds, 3-7 mm long, 1.5-2.3 cm wide, green when young, and shiny when ripe.

 

Characteristics of Divi-Divi Tree

Libidibia coriaria Tree
Source: inaturalist.org/nancyizquierdo

The divi-divi tree can grow as a medium-sized tree as high as 5-10 meters. The tree thrives in hot, dry, sunny areas with abundant sun exposure. Divi-divi also like to grow close to the sea and are often found at an altitude of fewer than 200 m asl on the sidelines of the coastal reef.

 
HOW TO CULTIVATE DIVI-DIVI TREE

This tree is very easy to propagate from planting seeds. They will grow very quickly and are tolerant of a wide variety of soil types.

 

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