You learn something new everyday

if you are lucky!
And today I learned that one of favorite woods to make spinning tops from – Lignum Vitae – belongs to the same family as one of my most hated organisms, the goathead or puncture vine. These two plants/trees belong to the family Zygophyllaceae or Caltrop family of plants. Lignum Vitae, or Guaiacum officinale, is an incredibly dense and oily wood that uniquely turns green as it ages, making it a wonderful wood to use in spinning tops because of it’s ease of working, weight, and color. Goatheads (Tribulus Terrestris) on the other hand are the bane of cyclists everywhere. As they dry out and separate from the plant they are easily moved by the wind, or animals on to the bike paths they surround.

A Lignum Vitae spinning top:

Lignum Vitae and Burmese Blackwood spinning top