Lignum Vitae (Guaiacum Officinale) is the hardest wood in the world with a specific gravity up to 1.35 so it sinks in water even when kiln dried. Lignum has natural oils and is used widely for fences on machinery, mallet heads, and other industrial applications. The wood has gray, green, and white colors and even the sapwood is very valuable as it is so hard and rare. In the Panama Canal the only trees still standing after being drowned 100 years ago are lignum. Vitae is used for bearings in large ships as these are self-lubricating and can withstand hundreds of thousands of pressure. Lignum vitae is an industrial application wood and similar to teak as the wood is beautiful and well known but incredibly durable and long-lasting. Lignum vitae is on the CITES I listing as it is endangered. This species cannot be exported or imported in any countries that are signatories at the United Nations. Trade in the species is legal within the U.S. but we cannot export this wood.
Click on the link below to see scientific data of this species of wood.