When most think of the term hardwood, it is assumed that the name has reference to the actual hardness or density of the wood. The same could be said for the term softwood, that per its name, this wood is inherently softer than hardwood. Ironically, the terms hardwood and softwood have no reference to the actual density or durability of the wood; the difference is in how the trees produce seeds.
The term hardwood is used to describe the wood produced by angiosperm trees. The seeds are usually covered with either a fruit or shell and flower to reproduce. Angiosperm trees also have broad leaves opposed to the needles or pinecones found on most softwood trees. Here at California Pacific Specialty Woods we keep an inventory of hardwoods such as: Alder, Cottonwood, Elm, Pecan, Poplar, Sycamore, Walnut, and White Oak.