Haematoxylum campechianum L.
Campeche, logwood, bloodwood tree
Campeche is native to Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, and has become naturalized in other parts of the tropics. In some regions it is considered invasive. The name bloodwood refers to the deep red color of the heartwood. As a colorfast red dye, bloodwood was extremely valuable in the 1600s. It remains relevant today, used as an important histological stain, a stain for medical sutures, and still sometimes as a dye, and for bonsai.
Identification: Trees are 9½-33' (3-10 m) tall, with weird-looking deeply fluted trunks and thorny. Like ebony, the wood is dense enough to sink in water. Lower leaves are bipinnate. The smaller leaflets occur in 3-5 pairs per pinnae, and these pinnae occur in pairs. Leaflets are obcordate, ⅜-1" (1-3 cm) × ⅜-⅞" (1-2.5 cm) in size. Inflorescences are showy cylindrical panicles that resemble a bottle brush. Each panicle has with many flowers ⅜-⅝" (1.2-1.6 cm) in diameter, with yellow or purple-tinged sepals and yellow petals. Seed pods are 1½-2" (4-6 cm) long, and ¼-⅜" (8-12 mm) wide. Individual seeds are brown, somewhat kidney-shaped, ⅛-¼" (5-7 mm) × ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3 mm).
Haematoxylum campechianum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.