Leopard Tree Libidibia ferrea
The Leopard tree Native to South America Is a beautiful semi-deciduous tree that really stands out in a garden with its upright trunk. It has a open, spreading crown with small delicately thin leaflets. New leaf growth is red/brown to copper in colour which contrasts beautifully with the older green foliage. The trunk is certainly one of the best features with its smooth coloured bark that looks like leopard print. The flowers are beautiful, with large clusters of sunny-yellow, bell-shaped flowers which appear in spring and are followed by dark seed pods.
Wood can vary in colour from red/brown to nearly black. It is a very heavy, hard, rigid, compact and very durable. A high quality timber which is used for construction, fence posts, pillars and beams etc. The timber is also used for flooring, furniture, joinery, tool handles, rifle stocks and handgun grips.
This high quality wood is also often used for making fingerboards for electric basses, guitars and violins, this is because it has similar tonal attributes to rosewood.
The hard wood also makes a very good charcoal with its high calorific value.