Jump to content

Red Agatized Petrified Wood, Possibly from Madagascar: Could anyone tell me more information about this?

Ash Tree

Recommended Posts

Hello TFF


I purchased this relatively inexpensive specimen at Mineralfest this past fall, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me more about it. The seller informed me it could possibly be from Madagascar, but was transparent in admitting that she couldn't confirm for sure. It was with other pieces of petrified wood that were brown, but I was drawn to this one due to the red hues. I think it's agatized, and it looks "glassy," although there are too many impurities to shine a cell phone light through it. One side is polished, and I put water on the rougher backside to show more of the details in the coloration.


When I went to research the process of identifying tree species from petrified wood, I came across high powered microscopes that could identify structures on a cellular level. I don't have access to that sort of technology, but I was wondering if anyone has any guesses as to what the species could be, how old it might be, what it might be made of, or any other information that could be gathered from looking at the specimen. I'm always curious about what the prehistoric "story" could be behind a fossil, or anything related to the unique biology of ancient life. Thank you for your time, and your knowledge is greatly appreciated! :)

Petrified wood front.jpg

Petrified wood bark 1.jpg

Petrified wood back 2 wet.jpg

Petrified wood bark 2.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you post a better Picture (+resolution, +sharpness) of the area at 12o'clock (first picture)?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ash Tree,

welcome to the forum.

I have seen similar pieces of petrified wood from the trias of Madagascar sold as Araucarioxylon sp.

Looking it up I just learned that this name is not up to date but often used for fossil conifer wood that has not been identified more exactly.

I think there are similar woods from Arizona, but those are usually much more expensive than the ones from Madagascar, at least here in Europe.

For a more exact ID of wood you often need microscopy.

But there may be a connoisseur of fossil wood here on the forum who can tell you much more.


Yes, there are often regions of jasper and agate in these fossil woods, both are modifications of quartz, sometimes you also get macrocrystalline quartz lining hollow spaces in the wood .


Best Regards


  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Mahmut has nailed it, and I can confirm that there is quite a bit of very similar petrified wood all over the American Southwest that looks just like this.

I have quite a few specimens of it myself. I am unfamiliar with Madagascan petrified wood however.


Your ID of jasper is likely correct, as this is a name for the rusty red-orange chalcedonies, a very common mineral in fossils as Mahnmut explained.


The polished side is magnificent. I have never seen a cross section that included a branch knot so clearly.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Johannes said:

the area at 12o'clock

Here is a close-up picture of that area. Hopefully it will help with identification!

10 hours ago, Mahnmut said:

conifer wood

Thank you for this information! Is there something specific in the detail of the fossil visible to the naked eye that indicates that it is probably fossilized conifer wood, as opposed to fossilized deciduous wood?


7 hours ago, LabRatKing said:

branch knot

I appreciate your input! I am intrigued by it as well. :)

Petrified wood close up.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
Ash Tree
Posted (edited)

Hello! I recently acquired a pocket microscope and was wondering if anyone had any advice on identifying plant fossils using the cellular structure, and I've attached images below. (Edit: I'm using a pocket microscope with 20x - 60x magnification) I'm pretty confident that this is a coniferous specimen since it shares a lot of similarities with this image:



On 12/15/2020 at 9:18 AM, Mahnmut said:



Magnified plant fossil  2  .jpg

Magnified plant fossil 3 .jpg

Magnified plant fossil 1 .jpg

Edited by Ash Tree
Link to post
Share on other sites

Was there even something like deciduous wood in the triassic? Of course we do not know the age for sure.

Sorry, i know that a microscope is needed for wood ID, but I do not know how to do it. I would search for reference images online. or for an expert.


Best Regards,


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...