Caesalpinia coriaria
Common Name: divi-divi 
Type: Tree
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Central America
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Yellow-green, White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown evenly moist to dry, well-draining, sandy soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including rich clay and poor, shallow soils. Hardy in frost free Zones 10 and above.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Caesalpinia coriaria, commonly called divi-divi, is a slow-growing, large evergreen shrub or small tree native to open, costal areas of Central America and the West Indies. It is also relatively common in cultivation, and has become locally naturalized in tropical Africa. Mature plants will reach around 30' tall with a spreading, umbrella-shaped canopy around 40' wide. In their native windy, coastal habitats, the main trunk and branches can twist and take on a contorted appearance with age. The bipinnately compound leaves are finely textured and can reach up to 6" long. The small, yellow-green flowers are held in dense, 2" long panicles and are not considered showy. The flowers are followed by twisted, 2-3" long pods that contain small, glossy brown seeds. Tannins used in leather-making can be extracted from the pods.

Genus name honors Andrea Cesalpini (1524/25-1603), Italian botanist, philosopher, and physician to Pope Clement VIII.

The specific epithet coriaria means "leather", in reference to the use of the seed pods of this species in leather-making.

The common name divi-divi likely originated from the name given to this plant by the indigenous Cariban peoples of the West Indies.


No major pest or disease problems reported.


Suitable for use as a small specimen tree in tropical gardens. Can be grown as a bonsai.