Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius)
Distribution: South African Tree Number 18. Grows snugly in mountain or coastal high forest. Found in significant amounts along the Southern Cape Coastal region and inland, also Transkei into KZN.
Timber Qualities: It has a fine texture and straight grain. Colour is yellow and turns a rich ochre when finished.
Uses: The Quintessential South African Classic. Old houses since Jan landed in Cape Town, have been finished in yellowwood, flooring, ceilings skirtings, even roof trusses and beams. Makes beautiful furniture and has been used as a contrasting wood in combination furniture � often coupled with Stinkwood, Blackwood or Imbuia.
REAL YELLOWWOOD (Geelhout) Podocarpus latifolius
A pale yellow-brown wood, undifferentiated between heartwood and sapwood. It has a fine, even texture, but exhibits magnificent whorls and ripples around knots. It’s dark brown bark contrasts magnificently with the yellow wood in Rustic-style furniture. It is much sought after as a furniture timber.
BLACKWOOD (Swarthoud) Acacia melanoxylon
A strong, stable wood, Blackwood has a beautiful red-brown heartwood with a pale tan sapwood. This wood is greatly sought after for all types of furniture manufacture. Seeds were imported from Australia in 1848 and the species is now well established in the indigenous forests of the Garden Route.
WHITE PEAR (Witpeer) Apodytes dimidiata
An attractive grey-brown colour with occasional purplish streaks. It is a hard and heavy wood with a fine grain. It works easily.
WHITE ELDER (Witels) Platylophus trifoliatus
This wood has a distinctive pink-brown colour with occasional yellowish streaks, and interesting grain patterns. It is even-grained and light and makes excellent furniture items and accessories.
HARD PEAR (Hardepeer) Olinia ventosa
A magnificent golden brown wood with a fine, wavy grain which gives its characteristic rippled appearance. It makes lovely furniture but is not common in the forests and hence not readily available.
IRONWOOD (Ysterhout) Olea capensis ssp. Macrocarpa
The sapwood has an orange-brown colour while the heartwood is a distinctive streaked dark brown colour. It is very heavy and hard and makes lovely furniture, but works with difficulty.
STINKWOOD (Stinkhout) Ocotea bullata
This has an olivebrown sapwood which darkens to a rich golden brown to dark coffee brown heartwood. The fresh cut wood gives a sweet pungent odour, hence its name. It is very high priced and much sought after for furniture.
CAPE BEECH (Boekenhout) Rapana melanophloeos
Commonly termed “Boekenhout”, this is a pink-brown colour with a short, reticulated grain similar to oak. In the plane of the grain however, it has a handsome, wide, flecked appearance reminiscent of a hawk’s wing. An interesting, durable wood which makes fine furniture.
ASSEGAI Curtisia dentata
A deep, dull red to grayish-brown colour. Not commonly used in furniture despite its fine texture and strength. In the past it was commonly used in wagon spokes due to its durability.
CANDLEWOOD (Kershout) Pterocelastus tricuspidatus
A deep burgundy colour with a fine, beautiful grain. It is heavy and hard and its handsome colour lends itself to furniture. However, it is not readily available.
CAPE HOLLY (Without) Ilex mitis
A soft, porous pale tan wood which makes it suitable for carving. It frequently has attractive black streaks as a result of exposure to water in the forest.