Florida lignum vitae is a small flowering tree or shrub, which grows very slowly to a height of typically 10 - 12 feet but is capable of reaching 30 - 40 feet. It commonly has multiple trunks with drooping branches and a rounded, dense crown. It has dark brown bark peeling to expose gray patches. The leaves are dark green, shiny, evenly-pinnate compound, opposite/subopposite, with 3 - 5 pairs of ovate leaflets each about 2 inches long. Flowers are very showy and borne in clusters at branch ends, blooms are deep blue, about 1 inch in diameter, fading in color as they age and persisting on the tree for some time. Fruits are dry, hard, orange capsules, about 1/2 inch long, splitting open when ripe to expose 1 - 2 black seeds covered with a fleshy red aril. Seeds are used for propagation. The wood is hard, dense, highly resistant and once had many practical uses; resins in the wood have medicinal uses. In cultivation, florida lignum vitae will grow in a range of well-drained soil types, it can withstand occasional flooding. An uncommon plant in cultivation, it has several applications in landscaping. It is an ideal small showy tree for seaside gardens or patios, an accent or specimen plant, in planters, courtyards and civic centers. It is also a suitable bonsai plant, and for growth in xerophytic and native plant gardens. Wild plants are threatened because of habitat loss. This plant is closely related to verawood and the exotic lignum vitae.