Radiocarbon (14C) dating is widely used to determine the age of organic material in palaeoenvironmental research. Here we compare 14C dates (n=17) resulting from macro-charcoal (>250 μm), short-lived plant macrofossils and pollen-rich residues isolated from two mire environments in eastern Australia. In most samples we found that short-lived plant macrofossils were the youngest organic component, the charcoal samples most often fell into the middle and the pollen-rich residues consistently returned older dates than the other samples. Although pollen-rich residues have been widely used for 14C dating in Australasia we suggest some caution in their use, perhaps because in our fire-prone environments these samples often also contain fine charcoal and other oxidative resistant organic matter that is older than the surrounding sediment matrix. The macro-charcoal samples also often returned older calibrated ages compared to short-lived plant macrofossils from the same depth, although this difference was relatively small (<245 years). Our results demonstrate that 14C dating of short-lived plant macrofossils are likely to yield more accurate chronologies and we advocate their routine use in palaeoenvironmental research when they are available.