|Acacia melanoxylon subsp. var.||Australian Blackwood, Sally Wattle, Lightwood, Hickory, Mudgerabah|
The Australian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon (Leguminosae)) is an Acacia species native in eastern Australia. The species is also known as Sally Wattle, Lightwood, Hickory, Mudgerabah, Tasmanian Blackwood or Black Wattle. This tree species grows fast and tall, up to 45 m height. It has a wide ecological tolerance, occurring over an extensive range of soils and climatic conditions, but develops better in colder climates. Control of its invasion of natural vegetation, commercial timber plantations and farmland in several host counties incur considerable costs, but its timber value and nursing of natural forest succession provides a positive contribution.
Acacia melanoxylon (Leguminosae) grows as an unarmed, evergreen tree 8-15 (sometimes up to 45) m high, with a straight trunk and dense and pyramidal to cylindrical crown , sometimes with heavy spreading branches. The leaves are bipinnate (feathery) on seedlings and coppice shoots turn into phyllodes. Phyllodes are 7-10 cm long, greyish turning dark dull-green, straight to slightly curved, with 3-7 prominent longitudinal veins and fine net-veins between; often bipinnate on young plants and coppice shoots. Pale yellow, globular flower heads are followed by Reddish-brown pods, narrower than phyllodes, slightly constricted, twisted; flat roundish shiny black seeds 2-3 mm long, seeds almost encircled by pinkish-red seed stalks (aril)" (Henderson, 1995. In PIER, 2002). It has a shallow root system with dense, surface feeder roots.
Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) is a common tree in South-eastern Australia, It is named for the dark heartwood of the tree which produces a timber much favoured in furniture making.
The tree can grow to 30m in height and has very dense dark green foliage. As a young tree it shows typical Acacia foliage, with bipinnate leaves, but these are quickly replaced by expanded leaf stalks known as phyllodes that resemble simple parallel-veined leaves.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Acacia melanoxylon, R. Br. Blackwood Acacia. Fig. 72. A good - sized evergreen tree of pyramidal form and dense foliage: phyll. oblanceolate to lanceolate, usually one edge straight, the other curved, 2 1/2 - 4 1/2in. long (average 3 1/2 in. long by 3/4in. wide), 3-6 parallel nerves, reticulately veined between; gland 1/6in. from base: fls. cream-color, 40-50 in a head, with peduncles over 1/2in. long, and in short racemes of 3-5 heads: pod reddish brown, with nerve-like margins, more or less twisted into shape of letter C or S, 3-5 in. long, 3/8in. wide; seed longitudinal, 1/8in. in length, encircled in double fold by a long red funicle which is very characteristic of the species, the seed hanging on the trees thus for months; pods ripe July-Nov. Fls. late Feb. and March. B.M. 16.59.—Its wood is but little inferior to black walnut for furniture-making and grillwork; it makes a good street tree in Calif, and as a fuel it is equal to hickory.
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