Silver quandong

Scientific name

Elaeocarpus grandis. Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Other names

Blue fig; blueberry ash; blue quandong; white quandong; cooloon


  • Tall tree, grows to 35m high.
  • Stem to 2m diameter.
  • Stem is prominently buttressed at the base and covered with a grey, smooth, slightly wrinkled bark.
  • Older leaves turn bright red before being shed—this can be used to recognise silver quandong in the forest.


  • Occurs along the eastern coast of Australia.
  • Commonly occurs between Taree, New South Wales and Maryborough, Queensland.
  • Occurs in small populations on the Eungella Range and between Ingham and Cooktown.
  • A disjunct stand occurs beside the mouth of the Daly River, Northern Territory.



  • Heartwood is generally white to cream-white, but may have greyish or light brownish tones.
  • Sapwood and heartwood have no noticeable colour difference.


  • Porous and open grain.
  • Characteristic long, straight vessel lines on dressed longitudinal surfaces, but no obvious figure (pattern).


  • Construction: common historical use in joinery, mouldings and linings and occasional use in general house framing, but rarely used for these applications now.
  • Decorative: plywood, furniture, shop and office fixtures, turnery, carving, inlay work, picture frames.
  • Others: boat building (light), aircraft components; used, in the past, for archery equipment, billiard cues, beehives, venetian blinds, broom handles, templates, pattern-making, boat oars, pencils, piano parts, tennis racquets, vaulting poles.


  • Density: 495kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 2m3 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: J4 unseasoned, JD4 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: 4.3% (tangential), 1.4% (radial)—these values apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.
  • Unit shrinkage: 0.24% (tangential), 0.11% (radial)—these values apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.
  • 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 lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservative, but penetration of heartwood is negligible using available commercial processes.
  • Seasoning: satisfactorily dries using conventional air and kiln seasoning.
  • Hardness: soft (rated 5 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: machines, and turns well, to a smooth surface.
  • Fixing: no difficulty using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: satisfactorily bonds using standard procedures.
  • Finishing: seasoned timber readily accepts stain, polish and paint.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: indistinguishable from heartwood.
  • Heartwood: almost white to cream-white.
  • Texture: medium to coarse; straight grain with little or no figure (pattern).

Wood structure

  • Growth rings: absent.
  • Vessels: medium, short radial rows of 2–6 or more; solitary vessels and pairs are oval; distinct vessel lines.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): indistinguishable under a lens.
  • Rays: 2 sizes—large and distinct under a lens, or fine and small, barely visible under a 10× lens.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: burns to a thin greyish-white partial 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, 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, Australian Standard International, Strathfield, NSW.