Grey satinash

Scientific name

Syzygium gustavioides syn. Eugenia gustavioides; Acmenosperma claviflorum. Family: Myrtaceae

Other names



  • Medium to large hardwood.
  • Grows to 40m high and 1.8m diameter.
  • Bole (trunk) symmetrical and partly buttressed.


  • Occurs in the high rainfall areas between Tully and Cooktown.



  • Heartwood buff grey to yellowish.
  • Sapwood not clearly defined.


  • Texture fine to medium.
  • Grain often interlocked.


  • Construction: building framework, dressed window and door sills, joinery, flooring, plywood, linings and fixtures, mouldings.
  • Decorative: turnery, furniture and cabinet making, picture mouldings.
  • Others: funeral caskets, shoe heels, plywood.


  • Density: Syzygium gustavioides is690kg/m3 and Acmenosperma claviflorum is880kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.5m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: Syzygium gustavioides—S5 unseasoned, SD6 seasoned; Acmenosperma claviflorum—(S4) unseasoned, (SD4) seasoned (brackets indicate provisional value).
  • Stress grades: Syzygium gustavioides—F5, F7, F8, F11 (unseasoned), F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned); Acmenosperma claviflorum—F7, F8, F11, F14 (unseasoned); F11, F14, F17, F22 when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: Syzygium gustavioides—J3 unseasoned, JD3 seasoned; Acmenosperma claviflorum—J3 unseasoned, JD2 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: 5.7% (tangential), 2.5% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: 0.28% (tangential), 0.17% (radial)—these figures apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 3 (life expectancy 7—15 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 3 (life expectancy 5—15 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood will impregnate with preservative.
  • Seasoning: slow to dry, but with little degrade and without much difficulty.
  • Hardness: moderately hard (rated 3 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: works well with machine tools.
  • Fixing: no difficulties using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: satisfactory.
  • Finishing: accepts paint, stain and polish

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: white-grey, not clearly defined.
  • Heartwood: yellow to yellow-grey.
  • Texture: medium and uniform; grain often interlocked.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: medium to small, visible without lens, mostly solitary, but some in short radial chains of 2–4; visible vessel lines; tyloses with occasional vessel deposits.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): plentiful as fine confluent bands, not uniformly distributed.
  • Rays: fine, numerous, visible with lens, and tending towards 2 distinct widths.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: match-size splinter burns to a charcoal or sometimes a fine black 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.