One of the hardest and heaviest woods, Lignum Vitae has heartwood that is dark greenish-brown to almost black and sharply demarcated from the pale yellow or cream-colored sapwood. Texture is very fine; grain is strongly interlocked; a slight scent is evident when warmed or rubbed. It has a characteristic oily feel due to the resin content that may be as high as one-fourth of the air-dry weight. Owing to the self-lubricating properties of the wood, it is used for ship’s propeller bushings and bearings, marine equipment, wheels and rollers. Somewhat difficult to work with hand or machine tools, the wood turns and shapes well and takes a high polish. Because of oily resins, it requires special surface treatments for satisfactory gluing. Native to Central America.
- Genuine Lignum Vitae
- Guaiacum officinale