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 medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; gum deposits in heartwood pores present; growth rings usually indistinct; narrow rays not visible without lens, close spacing; 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: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been 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)


  1. Sy Nguyen July 9, 2018 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    A good and fine wood is used for high-end furniture, however we usually import them from South Africa and Laos.

  2. John June 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Is the density correct? You have it as denser than lignum vitae, which says it is the heaviest wood on earth.

  3. asadefa April 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    What is the borer resistance of this wood

  4. Etan McRoniins March 6, 2017 at 11:55 am - Reply

    can I make a ruler out of it?

    • Hoang Ly Minh March 31, 2017 at 7:16 am - Reply

      I dont see why not.

  5. pchelin August 28, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I wondered if it could be used for the smoking pipes making as briar wood.

    • asadefa April 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      tabacco is trash

      • pchelin May 22, 2017 at 5:57 am - Reply

        Weed, then :-) ??

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