Gully root, lignum vitae
tea, bitterroot are just frills.
, which is considered one of the hardest and heaviest of commercial timbers, has an average weight of 77 pounds per cubic foot.
That's because it's made of the hardest and densest of all the trade woods: lignum vitae.
Lignum vitae is the name given to wood from trees of the genus Guaiacum, which are all now considered endangered species.
Lignum vitae has a number of properties that make it unusual.
Its weight and hardness have also made lignum vitae popular for lawn bowls, croquet mallets and skittle balls, not to mention police truncheons.
Lignum vitae was popular not just for its toughness but for decorative reasons too: if the sapwood is also used, you get a strong, attractive contrast of colour between the light and dark wood.
The 17th century wassail bowls made of beautiful lignum vitae
stood proud on the side tables in the main banqueting hall, which now some 400 years later has become the entertaining lounge.
Gwyn still uses his set of 1950s bowls made of heavy, lignum vitae
wood from the West Indies.
Assistant sales manager Ken Lupton said that what made the company so unique was its ability to restore and repair original Lignum Vitae
Pieces of treen can be bought for as little as pounds 20-30 or in excess of pounds 10,000 for a 17th-century lignum vitae
Very early examples in lignum vitae
are highly desirable but there are also examples in maple.