Lacebark Facts

Lacebark Facts
Lacebark is small tree that belongs to the Thymelaeaceae family. It can be found on Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola, where it grows natively. Lacebark thrives in the woodlands and on the hillsides. It often grows from the crevices of rocks on the hillsides and mountains rich in limestone, on the altitude from 1400 to 2700 feet. Due to uncontrolled exploitation of the lacebark in the past, this plant is rarely seen in the wild today.
Interesting Lacebark Facts:
Lacebark is small tree with pyramidal crown. It can reach 12 to 40 feet in height.
Lacebark has rough outer bark on the surface that can be easily removed by hand.
Lacebark has smooth, leathery, heart-shaped leaves. They are dark green colored and alternately arranged on the branches.
Lacebark produces small, white, bell-shaped flowers arranged in long clusters. Flowers have short stalks and they contain both types of reproductive organs.
Fruit of lacebark is hairy, round, single-seeded drupe. Seed is ovoid and dark brown in color.
Lacebark propagates via seed
Scientific name of lacebark is "Lagetto". It originates from Spanish word "latigo", which means "whip", and it refers to one of the application of the fibers of this plant.
Lacebark is known as "daguilla de loma" in Cuba. One of the mountains in Cuba, where lacebark grew in abundance in the past, is named after this plant - "Daguilla Loma"
Lacebark was very popular and often cultivated in the botanical gardens in the USA, UK and Australia during the 19th and 20th century. Unfortunately, it cannot be found in the botanical gardens any more.
Lacebark has unusual inner bark that consists of 20 to 30 layers of thin, interlaced fibers arranged in a form of net. Individual layers can be easily separated into sheets that are better known as lacebark.
Lacebark was mostly harvested from the wild plant. Men were in charge from stripping the outer bark and preparation of the fine sheets of lacebark, while women were responsible for the manufacture of various items from the obtained fibers.
Soft, white-colored fibers of lacebark were often used for the manufacture of veils, shawls, dresses, purses and frills during the 17th, 18th and 19th century. King Charles II and Queen Victoria have worn clothing made of lacebark.
Lacebark was also used for the manufacture of ropes, curtains, bridles and whips (that were used for punishing of slaves on Jamaica).
Number of items and usage of lacebark in general dropped drastically during the 20th century due to reduced number of available plants and hard labor that is associated with the extraction of fibers. Souvenirs such as dollies and fans made of lacebark are the only things that can be seen today, and even they are rare.
Lacebark is perennial plant (life span: more than 2 years).

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