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BlackWood

Acacia melanoxylon See leaf Drawing
Fabaceae: Mimosoideae
Sally Wattle, BlackWood
Very common

This is by far the commonest rainforest tree around Robertson. It is a very adaptable hardy species which colonizes open spaces and comes up along roadsides.

The leaves (phyllodes), which have 3 distinct long veins and other indistinct ones, are the same colour on both sides and are slightly curved, with a blunt tip. The early, feathery, compound leaves, made up of many very small leaflets, are reduced later on, as the leaf stalk flattens and expands to take over the work of the leaves.

The Blackwood is a fast-growing, well-shaped tree, with a thick crown. It is useful for woodlots and shelter and it makes an ideal windbreak. The wood is valuable and is used for cabinet and craft work. Flowers appear in early spring as short stems of 3-5 cream or pale-yellow, fluffy balls. The ripe brown pod is very twisted and opens mid to late summer to reveal shiny black seeds, surrounded by a long, double-folded, orange thread attaching them to the pod.

To germinate the seeds, pour boiling water over them and let stand overnight. Those that swell can be planted; the seeds that remain the same must be re-treated. They will come up within 3-14 days of planting.

Distribution: Tasmania to North Queensland, also in South Australia