IRON-WOOD, is imported from the Brazils, the East and West Indies, and other countries, in square and round logs, 6 to 9 in. and upwards through. Its colours are very dark browns and reds, sometimes streaked, and generally straight grained.

A specimen in Mr. Fincham's collection, from the Isle of France, was as light in colour as pencil cedar, but of a yellower brown; and in the same cabinet a piece called Iron Bark, from New South Wales, had the density of s. g. 1-426, and the strength of 1557, (English oak being called 1000.) in appearance it resembled plain brown Spanish mahogany, and it seemed to be not only the heaviest but the most solid of the woods; Mr. Fincham considers that the Australian woods, taken on the whole, are the most dense with which we are acquainted.

The iron-woods are commonly employed by the natives of uncivilised countries for their several sharp-edged clubs and offensive weapons; in England they are principally used for ramrods, walking-sticks, for turning, and various purposes requiring great hardness and durability: the more red varieties are frequently called beef-wood.

Iron-wood is a term applied to a great variety of woods, in consequence of their hardness, and almost every country has an iron-wood of its own. Mesua ferrea, which has received its specific name from the hardness of its wood, is a native of the peninsula of India and of the islands.

Metrosideros vera is called true iron-wood: the Chinese are said to make their rudders and anchors of it, and among the Japanese it is so scarce and valuable that it is only allowed to be manufactured for the service of their king. The iron-wood of southern China is Baryxylum rufum; of the island of Bourbon Stadmannia Sideroxylon, and of the Cape of Good Hope Sideroxylon melanophleum, which latter is very hard, close-grained, and sinks in water.

The iron-wood of Guiana is Robinia Panacoco (of Aublet); that of Jamaica is Fagara Pterota, and also Erythroxylum areolatum, which is also called red-wood, aegiphila martinicensis and Cocoloba latifolia, are other West Indian trees, to the woods of which the name of iron-wood has been applied,

Ostrya virginica, called American hop hornbeam, has wood execdingly hard and heavy, whence it is generally called iron-wood in America, and in some places lever-wood.