Origin: Australia and Hawaii.
Appearance: Reddish to dark brown with regular dark brown zones marking the growth rings showing as black lines. The grain is sometimes wavy or curly, producing fiddleback figure.
Range: Acacia is a hardwood harvested from trees 60 to 100 feet in height native to Australia and Hawaii. It also grows as thorny shrubbery in temperate and tropical climates. Smaller varieties of acacia are typically not used as lumber sources. Hawaiian koa is the premium species of acacia for woodworking.
Properties: It contains high amounts of figured grain and produces a high-gloss sheen after finishing. Koa is more expensive than Australian blackwood, which is typically considered a lower-cost alternative to Hawaiian koa. A domestic species — locust — is similar in characteristics to koa and Australian blackwood and is sometimes referred to as false acacia, but do not confuse it with authentic acacia.