Common Name: Palo Blanco
Lysiloma candidum is a spiny shrub or a small tree (often multi-stemmed) that usually grows around 3 - 6 metres tall, but can reach up to 7.5 metres. The stems can be 15 - 30cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. The plant was formerly harvested on a large scale for the tannins contained in the bark which were extracted and exported[
Southwest N. America - northwest Mexico (Baja California Sur, Sonora)
Tropical deciduous forest, xerophilous scrub and oak forest; at elevations from 10 - 1,500 metres[
]. Dry washes in canyon bottoms in the north of its range, rocky hill slopes in the south.
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Lysiloma candidum is a plant of low to medium elevations in the semi-arid and arid regions of sub-tropical northwest Mexico.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. Lysiloma species are generally adaptable to a range of soils[
The plant is an astringent due to its content of tannins and is used externally to heal wounds. To this end the shell (in Spanish la cáscara) is roasted in a griddle and once toasted is ground into a powder that is applied to the affected part. Alternatively the bark can be boiled and the liquid used to wash the wound before applying the powder[
This treatment is mainly done to wounds caused by burns[
The bark and branches are used to aid oral health. They are chewed and their astringent action helps to tighten the gums and prevent loose teeth[
The plant is also used to heal sores and pimples with pus[
The bark is a rich source of tannins and has, in the past, been gathered in large quantities for the commercial extraction of tannins[
We have no specific information for this species, but a general description of Lysiloma wood is as follows;-
The lustrous brown heartwood has a coppery or purplish tinge, sometimes faintly striped; it is sharply demarcated from the thin layer of white sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight to roey; it is without distinctive odour or taste. The heartwood is rated as highly durable. The wood is reported to air-season slowly; kiln-dried boards were prone to surface and end checking. The wood is considered to be easy to work, it finishes smoothly, and takes a high natural polish. It is used for general construction, furniture making, wheel wright work, parquet flooring, interior trim, bobbins and shuttles, veneer, and knife handles[