Our stalwart horticulture assistant and trusted keeper of the plant records, Hetty Ford, and her band of loyal gardeners, removed a mature Lignum Vitae tree, commonly known as the “Tree of Life,” from a demolition lot in Old Naples on Monday, June 18, 2012. The magnificent specimen is now in the Kapnick Caribbean Garden.
For those novice gardeners (like me) Guaiacum sanctum (Lignum Vitae) is a native Florida tree. Large specimens are rare and, when Hetty learned that this tree was on a demo lot, “I knew we could not let the bulldozers get it,” she said.
With a name like Tree of Life, it’s no surprise that the tree is represented by a number of species of plants across many cultures and religions. It represents the connectedness of all life in our world.
How a drought-tolerant tree finds its natural range in the 26 Latitude is beyond me. I’m just glad Hetty and a few anonymous “friends of the Garden” had the presence of mind to remove it and replant it.