This mineral comes in many forms, both metallic and nonmetallic, such as: botryoidal (known as kidney ore), micaceous and foliated known as specular; and earthy, oolitic, iron roses. But regardless of its form, it can always be identified by its characteristic red streak. It is widely distributed and forms the most abundant and important ore of iron. The name is derived from a Greek word meaning "blood", in allusion to the color of the powdered mineral.

Mineral Photos courtesy of R.Weller/Cochise College