Eucalyptus, Fumed Figured
Also known as: Lyptus
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus spp. (many)
Origin: Originally Australia and New Zealand now also Europe & South America
Description: The veneer produced from several closely related species of Eucalyptus is so similar that it is not possible to distinguish one from another. A generation or so ago it was not always easy to obtain, supplies having to come mainly out of Australia where it is commonly referred to as Blue Gum – a reference to the colour of the bark. Now, however, it is widespread in Europe and there is an abundance of material available. The logs are mainly quartered or rift-cut, a few sometimes being flat sliced. Colour is variable, usually incorporating shades of yellowy biscuit or a light, occasionally pinkish brown. Some examples will display a stronger, clearer pink and veneer from these is sometimes referred to as Rose Eucalyptus. South American Eucalyptus is found in pink to red colours and known as Lyptus. Not very inspiring when plain, but the figured veneer can be most attractive, showing varying degrees of mottle and even on occasion, a strong fiddleback. Logs that show the right characteristics are peeled to produce pommele (or ‘tear-drop’) figured veneer which, in good examples, can be extremely decorative. This is a species that can be fumed very successfully and plain, figured and pommele veneer are all available in this form, with the characteristic figure showing through a variable dark brown to black colour. Some older trees may have a burr growth and, if this is sound and of sufficient size, it may then be suitable for conversion into veneer. Eucalyptus burr is usually very tight, the individual pips and clusters being small in size.