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The hardness of its wood gives this tree its common name, also suggested by the species name which refers to iron. Mesua Ferrea (Ironwood) tree may reach 60 to 90 feet in height. It has a thick trunk buttressed at the base and a conical bushy crown casting dense shade. Young trees have an ash-gray bark that flakes off, in older trees the bark is dark gray or reddish-brown. Branches are slender and smooth. The leaves are simple, opposite, narrow and oblong to spear-shaped, shiny, blue-gray to dark green in color, red to yellowish pink and drooping when young, whitish beneath and 2 1/2 to 6 inches x 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches.
Furthermore, the flowers are borne along the branches. The blooms have white petals and yellow stamens. In addition, they are fragrant and 1 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Importantly, thrips visit the flowers. Moreover, the fruit is a rounded capsule with 1 to 4 seeds. Propagation of the tree is by seed. For good growth, it requires rich well-drained soils. Mesua Ferrea (Ironwood) is difficult to saw through, it is mainly used for railroad ties and heavy structural beams in construction. Several parts of the tree are used in herbal medicine.
Ironwood is an attractive ornamental tree because of its vivid green leaves and showy flowers; it is suitable for extensive lawns, parks and along roadsides.