10 Types of Australian Hardwood Timber Species

Australian hardwood timber is both durable and gorgeous, providing a home with an organic warmth, softness and tactility that no other flooring material can match. Solid Australian timber floors exude natural beauty and can endure decades of use. This guide explores 10 native Australian hardwood timber species, including their colours, textures, grains, qualities, and practical applications to inspire your home’s design.

#1 Australian Cypress Pine

Botanical name: Callitris Columellaris

Colour: Australian Cypress Pine is renowned for its unique golden brown hue with pale cream, orange and light yellow highlights and occasional dark brown streaks.

Texture and grain: The timber is characterised by a straight grain, fine even texture and stunning decorative tight knots in black and chocolate brown.

Origin: Western New South Wales, Victoria and central Western Queensland

Qualities: Australian Cypress Pine contains aromatic resins, which contribute to the timber’s natural resistance against termites.

Applications: Australian Cypress Pine’s distinctive tight knots enhance its decorative appeal. This unique aesthetic, combined with its high durability, make it the perfect choice for flooring, decking, furniture, joinery, lining, cladding or any exposed surface in home design.

#2 Blackbutt

Botanical name: Eucalyptus Pilularis

Colour: Blackbutt comes in a variety of shades, from medium honey brown to creamy blonde to light brown with a tinge of pink.

Texture and grain: Blackbutt has a straight grain with an even texture.

Origin: New South Wales and Queensland

Qualities: With its impressive fire resistance, Blackbutt can be used in bushfire-prone areas without the need to apply a fire retardant treatment.

Applications: A strong, durable hardwood, Blackbutt can be used for a range of exterior and interior applications including framework, decking and flooring. Its subtle colouring makes it ideal for creating an airy, light neutral interior.

#3 Brushbox

Botanical name: Lophostemon Confertus

Colour: Brushbox has long been sought after for its range of beautiful, rich colours, including pale pink grey, light red-brown and deep russet.

Texture and grain: Brushbox has a curly, interlocking grain and fine, even texture.

Origin: Coastal Queensland and northeastern New South Wales

Qualities: Brushbox’s high density makes it highly resistant to wear and splintering.

Applications: This native Australian timber’s interlocking grain makes it attractive for joinery, flooring, cladding, panelling, framing and laminated beams. Brushbox makes an excellent base for paints and stains. However, its natural waxiness makes it incompatible with highly solvent floor finishes.

#4 Flooded (Rose) Gum

Botanical name: Eucalyptus Grandis

Colour: Flooded Rose Gum creates a warm, charming aesthetic, combining shades of deep yet light pink, peach and pale red-brown.

Texture and grain: Flooded Rose Gum has a uniform, straight to slightly interlocked grain. The timber is occasionally decorated with insect trails and pinholes that add to its character and beauty, such as the iconic weaving or ‘scribbling’ pattern left by a scribbly borer. It has a moderately coarse, even texture.

Origin: New South Wales and Queensland

Qualities: Flooded Rose Gum’s high density rating makes it resistant to termite damage.

Applications: Rose gum is extremely versatile for construction and decorative applications. It is an ideal choice for house framing, cladding, joinery, interior floorboards and exterior decking, as well as fine furniture and durable outdoor furniture.

#5 Jarrah (Swan River Mahogany)

Botanical name: Eucalyptus marginata

Origin: South-west Western Australia

Colour: Jarrah comes in a variety of shades that reflect the Western Australian landscape: soft salmon pink, blonde, rich red-brown and soft burgundy.

Texture and grain: Jarrah has an interlocked or wavy grain with a medium to coarse texture.

Qualities: Jarrah boasts a staggering 15 percent higher density than oak and natural resistance to weather, rot, termites, and marine borers. This timber will not burn unless exposed to a constant flame.

Applications: Jarrah is a unique Australian hardwood renowned for its durability, making it a popular choice for home flooring, joinery, indoor and outdoor furniture. Jarrah readily accepts paint, stain or polish.

#6 Karri

Botanical name: Eucalyptus diversicolor

Colour: A lustrous hardwood timber native to Western Australia, Karri comes in appealing shades of golden pink or red-brown with creamy white streaking.

Texture and grain: Karri timber features a long, interlocked grain.

Origin: Western Australia

Qualities: Durable and slow-growing, karri timber

Applications: Karri timber is a popular timber used in flooring, paneling and joinery.

#7 Ironbark

Botanical name: Eucalyptus paniculate, Eucalyptus drepanophylla, Eucalyptus decepta, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, Eucalyptus mugga

Colour: Ironbark is available in pale to mid purple brown, dark chocolate brown, deep rich red and grey shades.

Texture and grain: Renowned for its tight cathedral grain pattern with recurring arch shapes, Ironbark has a moderately coarse texture with strong marbling.

Origin: New South Wales and Queensland

Qualities: Ironbark is especially hard, strong and durable.

Applications: Ironbark (both grey and red varieties) are one of the densest hardwood flooring options. Its high durability makes it ideal for decking and high-traffic areas of the home.

#8 Myrtle Beech

Botanical name: Nothofagus Cunninghamii

Colour: Myrtle Beech is a striking timber with rich red-brown, honey blonde or orange shades, streaked with light cream or light pink-brown.

Texture and grain: Myrtle Beech displays a glorious variety of grain patterns, including wavy, tiger stripes and burl. The wood has a fine texture and provides a very smooth finish.

Origin: Tasmania

Qualities: Prized by architects, Myrtle Beech takes on a deep lustre when polished.

Applications: Popular uses include crafting solid, high-quality furniture, joinery and cabinet making, flooring and feature panelling.

#9 Spotted Gum

Botanical name: Eucalyptus maculata

Colour: Spotted gum can range from pale grey-brown or honey green to soft cream or rich chocolate brown with purple streaks.

Texture and grain: Spotted Gum has a wavy grain, which can create an attractive rippled effect.

Origin: New South Wales and Queensland

Qualities: Spotted Gum is a tough, fire-resistant timber that can be used in areas that are vulnerable to bushfires without applying a fire retardant treatment.

Applications: Spotted Gum is suitable for framing, flooring, lining, decking and cladding. It can be painted, stained or polished.

#10 Victorian Ash (Alpine Ash)

Botanical name: Eucalyptus delegatensis

Colour: Victorian ash’s characteristic shade is a lovely, silky pale pink, blonde or light nutty brown. Victorian Ash hardwood is naturally an even, pale straw colour that accepts stains and paints well, giving you freedom and flexibility in creating your desired finish.

Texture and grain: Alpine ash has a straight, open and even grain, coarse texture and stunning fiddleback markings.

Origin: Tasmania, Victoria and southern New South Wales

Qualities: This timber is strong, stable and moderately hard. It is not resistant to termites.

Applications: Victorian Ash is best suited for interiors, such as flooring, decking, panelling, joists, trusses, staircases, window frames, doors and furniture.

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