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Libidibia coriaria - Divi-divi


Native to:


Fabaceae - Leguminosae

Parts of Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, the Caribbean.

Seasonal or coastal forests, dry plains and hillsides. 0-350 meters above sea level. 10 meter tall tree.

Libidibia coriaria - Divi-divi

Ecological value:

Has a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria that form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen which can be shared with neighboring plants. The flowers attract bees. Slow growing. Tolerates a wide range of habitats including sandy soils. Full sun.

Material uses:

The pods contain 45% tannin, produces a black or blue dye. Trees yield around 45-135kg of pods per year. The wood creates a red dye. The leaves are used as mulch. The wood itself is utilized as fuel. Hardwood is a substitute for ebony for making small items.

Edible uses:

No record on this species.

Medicinal use:

Decoction of pods used to treat hemorrhoids. Bark or pods used to dress wounds.

Other details:

Wind sculpted. Can be inter-cropped with other species, and requires little care. Plants in this genus are resistant to honey fungus. Begin flowering at 5-7 years. Full pod-crops at 20 years of age. Seeds contain 5-9% of an essential oil which have carcinogenic properties.


Senna Lau/Christine Facella


“Libidibia Coriaria (Jacq.) Schltdl. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 28, 2023.
“Libidibia Coriaria - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 28, 2023.
Huxley. A., ‘The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992’, MacMillan Press, 1992
Image source: Vinayaraj

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