Brown quandong

Scientific name

Elaeocarpus ruminatus, E. coorangooloo. Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Other names



  • Medium-size hardwood with buttressed, straight trunk.
  • Bark is grey or brownish.
  • Bark is slightly longitudinally wrinkled with brown-coloured pustules in the wrinkles.


  • E. ruminatus occurs in rainforest from Mackay to Atherton.
  • E. coorangooloo occurs only in dry rainforests in North Queensland.



  • Heartwood is pale brown, may be tinged grey, and may have darker stripes.
  • Sapwood is creamy white.


  • Often interlocked, producing a ribbon figure (pattern) on the radial surface.
  • Texture is moderately fine and even.



  • Linings.
  • Flooring.
  • General building framing.


  • Veneer.
  • Turnery.
  • Joinery.
  • Mouldings.


  • Plywood.
  • Brushbacks.
  • Furniture and cabinet work.
  • Shingles.
  • Planking of racing skiffs and racing sculls.
  • Historically used for light aircraft parts.


  • Density: E. ruminatus—560kg/m3 and E. coorangaloo—610kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.6 to 1.8m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: E. ruminatus and E. coorangaloo (S6) unseasoned; (SD7) seasoned.
  • Stress grades: E. ruminatus and E. coorangaloo F4, F5, F7, F8 (unseasoned) F5, F7, F8, F11 (seasoned), when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000, Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: Elaeocarpus ruminatus JD4 seasoned, E. coorangooloo JD3 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: not available.
  • 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: not resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood impregnates with preservative.
  • Seasoning: seasons well.
  • Hardness: E. ruminatus is soft (rated 5 on a 6-class scale) and E. coorangooloo is firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: easy to work, cuts cleanly and dresses with a fine finish.
  • Fixing: holds nails and screws well.
  • Gluing: glues well.
  • Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: creamy-white.
  • Heartwood: pale straw colour with grey streaks.
  • Texture: moderately fine and uniform, straight grain, soft to cut.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: medium, radial multiples of 2–4 cells with a few solitary, uniform distribution.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): visible only as fine terminal bands.
  • Rays: 2 distinct widths—moderate and fine.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: wood burns to a grey-buff ash.

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 ed., 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.