The Divi-Divi Tree
of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao
The Divi-Divi Tree (Caesalpinia coriaria): This windblown tree is almost a national symbol on Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.The true divi-divi has inconspicuous but fragrant blossoms.
An evergreen capable of growing to 30 feet, it normally grows with a windswept look. In the islands the branches of the famous divi divi trees always point to the west. The trees were bent in that direction by the constant trade winds , which blow east to west.
The divi-divi has thick curled pods rich in tannin. At one time the pods were exported from Aruba to Germany and Holland for tanning leather.You can use the pods for shining the dust off your leather shoes.
The divi-divi was imported from Africa because over millions of years it evolved elaborate defenses against herbivores such as the goats that maraude the Dutch ABCs.
Goats avoid divi-divis because
the tough-looking bark has a high concentration of tannic acid,
which destroys an important protozoan herbivores need for digestion.