Curry Myrtle

    (Backhousia angustifolia)


Also known as: Narrow leaved Backhousia

Curry Myrtle is mainly found growing in soft-scrub (Semi-evergreen vine thicket) and stands of Bonewood and is easily identified by the sweet curry smell of the leaves when crushed - I'm not into curries at all but it is an unusually enticing smell. Growing to around 8 metres tall with trunks to around 200mm diameter, it's appearance varies according to its location as these two examples show. At left is a specimen among some remnant Bonewood on rocky ground while the specimen at right is in rich soil in soft-scrub.   
While the timber of the Curry Myrtle is moderately heavy, close grained, attractively figured and machines nicely, it just doesn't stop cracking until it's perfectly dry - and then it will have another go when you least expect it! It also tends to burnish when sanding and takes a lot of oil to build a good finish. Not a timber I'll be chasing a lot.
This piece sat on the workbench for nearly 2 years while I waited for it to stop cracking. The support is carved from Norfolk Island Hibiscus and pinned with Ebony dowels.


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