ARTfarm Q&A Wednesday! 3-6pm

Today at ARTfarm down the south shore we’ll offer a fairly small selection of items: Pineapples, a few tomatoes, sweet salad mix, microgreens, basil, chives, and a few cucumbers.

The lignum vitae is an important food source for honey bees in drought times.

The lignum vitae is an important food source for honey bees in drought times.

Q: What do you farmers do when it is so dry? What can grow in this extreme drought condition?

A: Not too much! We do our best to conserve water when conditions are this severe.

One plant that remains green and healthy with no watering in this dry weather is the highly drought tolerant lignum vitae tree. Slow and steady is how lignum vitae grows, rain or no rain. This tree species will probably outlast all the other trees that we have planted over the years. Most of the 30+ lignum vitae trees established at ARTfarm came from Kai and Irene Lawaetz at Little Lagrange. Kai was always a champion of the lignum vitae for its beauty and ability to withstand drought times and there are many prime individuals of the species on the Lawaetz Museum grounds.

Even in drought times when most vegetation is brown, the lignum vitae tree's evergreen leaves remain deep green and provide dense shade.

Even in drought times when most vegetation is brown, the lignum vitae tree’s evergreen leaves remain deep green and provide dense shade.

While it does not produce any edible products, the lignum vitae is a beautiful dense shade and ornamental tree and a food source for honeybees, particularly when nothing else is flowering. The wood of lignum vitae trees is so dense that it has traditionally been used to make ship pulleys.

The light purplish blue blooms and showy red and orange fruit are unique mainly because of their color. There are not too many blue colored flowers in the tropics. The tree sheds very little leaf litter and its leathery paired leaves remain a beautiful deep green year round.

3 Responses

  1. Hello Luca and Christina, As we head back to the states for the summer tomorrow I’ll keep that lovely photo of the bee on the lignum vitae to remind me that even in this dry weather “Ay Ay” is busy providing beauty and nourishment for us all. We have many lignum Vitae trees here at East Hill. All planted by our father about 50 years ago with the knowledge that they would come into maturity only when his children and children’s children were here to enjoy them. And it is so. Thank you once again for all you do.

    Sincerely, Julie Frederiksen and family

    • Thank you Julie. It is truly an act of loving kindness, and optimism, to plant a slow-growing tree. Grateful that you can appreciate that!

  2. […] to plant trees. If you feel the same way, we have some wonderful drought tolerant young lignum vitae trees for sale. They are a relatively small, slow growing, long lived dense evergreen (not […]

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