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Bulnesia sarmientoi - Lorentz & Griseb.
Common Name Pao Santo
Family Zygophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found mainly in deciduous, calcareous forests, open forests, in dryland varzeas on very saline soils with good deep water humidity[ 420 ].
Range Tropical S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, eastern Brazil and Bolivia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Pao Santo, Bulnesia samientoi, is a tropical, slow-growing, deciduous tree found in South America. It grows up to 18 m tall and its crown is arching and spreading. The cylindrical bole is short and up to 70 cm in diameter. Wood yields a rose-like scented essential oil known as “guaiac oil” used in making perfume, soap, etc. The wood is very heavy, hard, and resistant. It is used as material for items that require great resistance to abrasion and as a fuel.

Bulnesia sarmientoi Pao Santo

Bulnesia sarmientoi Pao Santo
Lidia Perez de Molas
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Bulnesia sarmientoi is a deciduous Tree growing to 18 m (59ft) by 18 m (59ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The plant is used medicinally[ 420 ].


Other Uses
Other uses rating: High (4/5). Other Uses: An essential oil is distilled from the wood[ 307 ]. It has a soft, rose-like scent[ 46 ]. Known as guaiac oil, it is used in perfumery, making soap etc[ 46 , 307 ]. It is said to conceal the harsh notes of some synthetic aromatics[ 46 ]. The wood is very heavy, very hard and resistant, pleasantly scented with a fine and homogenous texture[ 420 ]. It has crystals of calcium oxalate and resin amongst its fibres and is extremely durable, even when exposed[ 420 ]. It is used for items that require great resistance to abrasion, such as bushings and vessel helices[ 420 ]. It is also much used for lathe work[ 420 ]. When used as a fuel, the wood gives off a fragrant smoke[ 420 ].
Cultivation details
Grows best in a sunny position[ 420 ]. Plants are slow to establish and grow away slowly[ 420 ].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed or in containers[ 420 ]. Germination rates are normally low, occurring in 3 - 4 weeks[ 420 ].
Other Names
Pao Santo, Bulnesia samientoi
Found In
Coming Soon
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Lower Risk/conservation dependent
Related Plants


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Expert comment
Lorentz & Griseb.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Bulnesia sarmientoi  

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