May. 6, 2020

lignum vitae, Guaiacum officinale

Lignum vitae has the rep of being the world's hardest wood. The hardness of wood is measured on the Janka scale. That is the force required to imbed a half-inch steel ball half way into the wood. Lignum vitae comes in at 4500, oak around 1200. This is tough stuff, but may only be the fourth hardest. The trees are also grown as ornamentals. These flowers are about an inch across. Lignum vitae grows in Florida, and south through the American tropics. Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory, Ft. Wayne IN, 9/6/13. Caltrop family, Zygophyllaceae.