Tropical soils developed from various parent materials and under various rainfalls were analysed to identify whether these environmental factors influence the properties of the iron oxides.Iron contents of the soils range from 5 to 134 g/kg, with hematite and goethite being the major secondary iron minerals. Hematite is the dominant iron oxide in all soils developed on limestone irrespective of rainfall, whereas for other parent materials the relative abundance of goethite tends to increase with rainfall. Aluminum substitution in goethite and hematite ranges from 13 to 21 mol% and 7 to 15 mol%, respectively. The mole% Al substitution in hematite is about half the level for goethite in the same soil. Crystal size estimated from X-ray diffraction line broadening ranges from 12 to 47 nm for goethite and from 15 to 44 nm for hematite. Similar sizes were obtained by electron microscopy. The properties of the iron oxides did not vary systematically with parent material or rainfall and are similar to those described by other workers for red tropical soils on diverse parent materials.