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Wood Species Description

The following is information that may be of interest for some of our readers. It includes botanical names and a brief description and properties of the woods that are commonly used by HNT Gordon.

Ironwood, Cooktown - Erythrophleum chlorostachys Small to medium size and irregular shaped hardwood from far north Queensland, Australia. Heartwood bright red sapwood pale brown, grain interlocked. ADD about 1220 kg/m3.

Ebony - Diospyros ferra. Found throughout Philippines, Java and New Guinea. Heartwood brown or jet black with occasional yellowish streaks , fine texture, straight grain, hard and strong.

Gidgee - Acacia cambagie. A hardwood mainly from dry inland plains of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. Heartwood dark chocolate brown, sapwood pale yellow. Grain variable, some trees produce wood with a wavy figure commonly known as ringed gidgee. GD about 1330 kg/m3, ADD about 1250 kg/m3.

Snakewood - Piratinera guiansis. Found in Central and Tropical South America. Appearance similar to snakeskins but may also be spotty like leopard spots. Heartwood colour basically red - brown with black speckles, sometimes vertical stripes. Weighs 1 300kg/m3.

Ivorywood, Pink - Rhamnus zeyheri. Found in South and South east Africa, mainly Mozambique. Heartwood is yellow-brown with a red-gold lustre. Pore structure is fine and growth rings have alternate light and dark coloured area giving a characteristic pink-red striped figure. Grain is interlocked or irregular and texture moderately fine and even. Weighs about 900 kg/m3.

Kingwood - Dalbergia cearensis. Found in Brazil. Heartwood has variegated colours with a rich violet brown shading to black with streaks. Usually straight grained, fine textured and luxurious. Weighs 1 2oo kg/m3.

Lignum Vitae - Guaiacum officinale. Found in The West Indies and Tropical America. One of the hardest and heaviest commercial timbers. Heartwood colour is dark greenish-brown to almost black. The grain is heavily interlocked and irregular, and the texture is fine and uniform. Weight varied from 1150-1300 kg/m3 and averages 1230 kg/m3.

Rosewood, Brazilian - Dalbergia nigra. Found in Brazil. Heartwood colour varies from chocolate or violet-brown to violet streaked with black or golden brown. Grain mostly straight but sometimes wavy. Weight is average 850 kg/m3.


Wood in Australia, Types, properties and uses - Author Keith R. Bootle
World Woods in Colour - Author William A. Lincoln