Common Name(s): Desert Ironwood

Scientific Name: Olneya tesota

Distribution: Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico

Tree Size: 20-30 ft (6-10 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: About 75 lbs/ft3 (1,210 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): ~.97, ~1.21

Janka Hardness: 3,260 lbf (14,500 N)

Lignum Vitae or Ironwood, is a tropical hardwood, is an exotic wood native to the tropical regions of the Americas. It is a very hard, dense, and heavy wood, with a fine texture. Heartwood color ranges from an orangish yellow to a darker red or brown, with darker violet to black streaks. Some pieces may be almost entirely black. Narrow yellow sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood.


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