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The Cooktown Ironwood tree is endemic to northern Australia, from northeastern Queensland to the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Commonly known as Cooktown Ironwood, the species is found in wide range of environments from arid savanna to tropical rainforest. The species is a valuable source of timber, which is exceptionally hard and dense as well as being highly termite resistant.
Ironwood is semi-deciduous, dropping much of its foliage in response to the prolonged winter dry periods which are the norm within its native range. The foliage of the tree contains toxic levels of alkaloids and has been responsible for numerous deaths of both cattle and horses.