Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum)

Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum)

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Common Name(s): Black Ironwood, Leadwood

Scientific Name: Krugiodendron ferreum

Distribution: Southern Florida, Caribbean, and Central America

Tree Size: 20-30 ft (6-9 m) tall, .5-1 ft (.2-.3 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 84 lbs/ft3 (1,355 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 1.07, 1.35

Janka Hardness: 3,660 lbf (16,280 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 18,200 lbf/in2 (125.5 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,966,000 lbf/in2 (20.46 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,940 lbf/in2 (68.6 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 6.2%, Tangential: 8.0%, Volumetric: 11.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.3

Color/Appearance: Black Ironwood’s heartwood can be a range of reds, oranges, violets, and browns. Pale yellowish white sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Black Ironwood has a straight and even grain with a very fine texture and high natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; small to very small pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; gum deposits in heartwood pores present; growth rings usually indistinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric.

Rot Resistance: Reported to be very resistant to decay, and also resistant to termites.

Workability: High cutting resistance, and difficult to work due to density. Turns and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: There have been no adverse health effects associated with Black Ironwood. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Black Ironwood tends to be a very small tree, barely exceeding the size of a shrub. Because of it’s small size and high density, it’s not sold commercially. Small pieces may be available for hobbyist or specialty purposes within its natural range.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Firewood, veneer, and small turned objects.

Comments: Among the heaviest woods on earth, Black Ironwood is found in southern Florida, making it the heaviest wood in the United States, (along with the unrelated Desert Ironwood perhaps being a close second).

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:


Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum)

Black Ironwood (sanded)

Black Ironwood (sealed)

Black Ironwood (sealed)

Black Ironwood (endgrain)

Black Ironwood (endgrain)

Black Ironwood (endgrain 10x)

Black Ironwood (endgrain 10x)