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Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana )


A common name for several varieties of dense heavy wood. Common types are:

  • Canadian ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
  • Ceylon ironwood or Gangaw (Mesua ferrea): red, used for furniture, dyes
  • East Indian ironwood
  • South African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)
  • Ironwood or Lebombo (Androstachys johnsonii): Southeastern Africa and Madagascar; found in mountainous regions, especially the Lebombo Mountains in Southern Africa
  • Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum) :Southern Florida, Caribbean, and Central America
  • Desert Ironwood (Olneya tesota): Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico

Synonyms and Related Terms

Natural Dye 20; Canadian ironwood (Ostrya virgniana); South African ironwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon); Uganda ironwood; Ceylon ironwood (Mesua ferrea); bois de fer (Fr.); pau ferro (Port.); iron wood; Black ironwood

Physical and Chemical Properties

Density 55-65 ppcf

Resources and Citations

  • Helmut Schweppe, Schweppe color collection index and information book Comment: natural dye 20
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 877
  • F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965