Krugiodendron ferreum

Krugiodendron ferreum (Vahl) Urb.

Common Names: Ironwood, Leadwood, Black Ironwood

Family: Rhamnaceae

Habit: Krugiodendron ferreum grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 10 meters in height with trunks to 50 cm in diameter. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 5 cm in length, oval to ovate with an emarginate leaf apex and entire margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary clusters. The calyx has 5 unfused sepals.  Each sepal has a floral appendage. There are no petals. There are 5 stamens.  The ovary is superior with 2 locules. At the base of the ovary is a nectary disc.  The fruit is a drupe that is purple/black at maturity.

Habitat: Krugiodendron ferreum grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forest/Shrublands (coppice).

Distribution: Krugiodendron ferreum occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, Central America and the Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Krugiodendron ferreum is used in the Lucayan Archipelago for general strengthening teas, pain (backaches), and infections of the mouth. The wood is very dense (considered densest in North America) and has been used for woodcarvings and other wood products.

The fruits are edible.