Blush alder

Scientific name

Sloanea australis spp. Parviflora. Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Other names

maiden's blush; blush carrobean


  • Tall slender tree grows to 30m high.
  • Stem diameter up to 1m.
  • Trunk is often irregular, crooked, and buttressed at the base.
  • Bark is about 6mm thick, rough, scaly and brown.


  • Widely distributed throughout the coastal rainforests of the Illawarra district, New South Wales to the Atherton Tableland, North Queensland.



  • Heartwood usually pink to reddish-brown.
  • Sapwood is distinctly lighter.


  • Close and even textured. No obvious figure (pattern) but when dressed, surfaces have a silky sheen.



  • Unseasoned sawn timber for general house framing.
  • Dressed seasoned flooring, lining, mouldings and joinery.


  • Furniture.
  • Plywood.
  • Shop.
  • Office fixtures.
  • Joinery.
  • Turnery.
  • Carving.
  • Picture frames.


  • Light boat building.
  • Brush stock.
  • Broom handles.


  • Density: 625kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.6m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: S5 unseasoned, SD6 seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F5, F7, F8, F11, (unseasoned) F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: JD3 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: 5.0% (tangential), 2.5% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 7 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 5 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctine borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood easily impregnates with preservatives but penetration of heartwood is negligible using available commercial processes.
  • Seasoning: dries satisfactorily using conventional air and kiln seasoning methods.
  • Hardness: firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indents and working with hand tools.
  • Machining: machines, and turns well, to a smooth surface.
  • Fixing: no difficulty in using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: bonds satisfactorily using standard procedures.
  • Finishing: readily accept stain, polish and paint.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: lighter colour than heartwood.
  • Heartwood: pink to red-brown.
  • Texture: fine and uniform, grain is occasionally interlocked.

Wood structure

  • Growth rings: absent.
  • Vessels: numerous, very small, indistinct without a lens, solitary and in radial groups of less than 4; without tyloses and deposits.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): not visible under a lens.
  • Rays: 2 kinds—large (visible without a lens) and fine (difficult to see even with a hand lens).
  • Other features: burning.

Research and resources

  • Boland, DJ, Brooker, MIH, Chippendale, GM, Hall, N, Hyland, BPM, Johnston, RD, Kleinig, DA and Turner, JD 2006, Forest trees of Australia, 5th edn, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
  • Bootle, K 2005, Wood in Australia: Types, properties and uses, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, Sydney.
  • Ilic, J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
  • Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  • Standards Australia, 2000, AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.