thickened. Seeds longitudinally aligned in pod, ellipsoid, black, aril white, small. Mature Nov.-Jan.
Wood: Sapwood whitish, heartwood pale brown, density 720 kg m-3; used overseas as a source of firewood, building poles, mine props and fence posts; also reported to have good properties for paper pulp production.
Climate: Altitudinal range: 25-1000 m; Hottest/coldest month: 26-30°C/1-5°C; Frost incidence: moderate (up to 25 per year at the coolest part of the range); Rainfall: 650-1150 mm per year, uniform.
Distinctive features: Tree with green bipinnate foliage; branchlets with conspicuous winged ridges running along the stem from the base of the leaves; leaflets linear, narrow and widely spaced; inflorescences axillary or terminal panicles, heads golden; pods narrowly oblong, with thickened margins. Grown for its bark as a source of tannin to produce fibreboard in South Africa.
Acacia decurrens 1. Stand, near Currawong, N.S.W. 2. Adult leaf 3. Pods 4. Seedling 5. Seeds 6. Tree, near Currawong, N.S.W. 7. Detail of leaf rachis showing glands 8. Bark 9. Inflorescences on leafy shoot
Cedar Wattle Mountain Cedar Wattle
Cedar wattle is a medium-sized tree commonly up to 15 m tall but sometimes may attain heights up to 25 m. Maximum dbh development on largest trees is 90 cm. The trunk is often well developed and the crown foliage dense. The crown comprises numerous lateral branches, which may extend along the bole to near ground level.
This species is endemic to New South Wales where it occurs on subcoastal ranges and tablelands. It extends from the Orara River near Coffs Harbour south to the Budawang Range on the south coast. It is common in the sandstone gullies surrounding the Sydney region. Populations are discontinuous in the north of its range where some occurrences are restricted to high elevation, high rainfall sites. It has become naturalised in Victoria and in parts of south-western Western Australia.
In the southern part of its range cedar wattle grows along perennial creeks and rivers or is in proximity to run-on areas where supplementary groundwater can be obtained. The soils are deep, sandy and commonly derived from sandstone. Northern populations extend to volcanic substrates on high altitude, high rainfall sites. At these sites soils are well-developed clay loams.
Cedar wattle grows in tall open forests and on the margins of closed rainforests. There is a range of associated species including Sydney peppermint (E. piperita), brown barrel (E. fastigata), turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), rainforest species such as coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), callicoma (Callicoma serratifolia) and lilly pilly (Acmena smithii).
Related species: The affinities of cedar wattle (sect. Botrycephalae) are uncertain. It is unlikely to be confused with any other bipinnate acacia due to its large dark green bipinnate leaves which are up to 23 cm long.
Publication: London J. Bot. 1: 383 (1842). Type: Shaded ravines, interior of New South Wales, A. Cunningham
Names: Botanical—Latin elatus (exalted, tall), alluding to its stature. Common—presumably refers to the scent of the wood being similar to cedar (Cedrela spp. or Cedrus spp.).
Bark: Thin, finely fissured, grey-brown.
Foliage: Seedling—bipinnate. Adult—bipinnate, rachis up to 22 cm long, with usually 3-7 pairs of opposite pinnae, 7-23 cm long, pinnules in 8-22 pairs, 1-6 X 0.3-1.3 cm, lanceolate, acuminate, dark green above, lighter green below, petiole minutely hairy, to 9 cm long, with one gland midway along, jugary and interjugary glands absent.
Inflorescences: Axillary racemes or terminal panicles, up to 20 cm long, peduncles hairy, 2-11 mm long, heads 30 to 55-flowered, cream to pale yellow; flowers 5-merous, sepals fused. Flowers mainly late Dec.-Mar.
Fruits: Pods, narrowly oblong, slightly constricted between seeds, 4-17.5 X 0.9-1.5 cm, chartaceous to coriaceous, margin prominent, minutely hairy when young becoming sparsely hairy with age. Seeds longitudinally aligned, ellipsoid, glossy, black, aril white, cap-like. Mature Dec.-Feb.
Wood: Sapwood whitish, heartwood pale brown, density 670 kg m-3; scented, reminiscent of cedar. Reported to be excellent firewood and have potential for pulpwood production.
Climate: Altitudinal range: 50-1200 m; Hottest/coldest month: 23-29°C/-2-5°C; Frost incidence: moderate to high (up to 40 on upland sites with some snowfalls); Rainfall: 1000-1250 mm per year, moderate summer max.
Distinctive features: Medium-sized to large tree with large, dark green bipinnate foliage, up to 23 cm long; leaflets lanceolate, 2-6 X 0.5 1.3 cm; inflorescences in large axillary or terminal panicles, heads cream to pale yellow; pods oblong, 4-17.5 X 0.9-1.5 cm. The lateral branching of the crown is also distinctive.
Acacia elata 1. Tree, Glouster Tops, N.S.W. 2 Bark 3. Bole 4. Adult leaf 5. Inflorescence with adult leaf 6. Pods 7. Inflorescence 8. Tree, near Sydney, N.S.W. 9. Seeds 10. Adult leaf with inflorescence
Ironwood Southern Ironwood
Ironwood is usually a graceful tree up to 15 m in height with a dbh up to 50 cm. The crown is spreading, often as wide as the tree is tall, and the pale green foliage is typically pendulous. Juvenile plants of this species differ in having broad, erect foliage and shrubby appearance which contrasts with the narrow, weeping foliage of mature trees.
Ironwood is a common, widespread species in central Australia. It extends throughout much of the southern half of Northern Territory and west to near Giles in Western Australia with a western outlier on Granite Peak Station, 300 km north-east of Meekatharra. It also extends into the far north of South Australia from the Mann Ranges east to the Lake Eyre region.
This species grows on plains, flood plains, creek banks and near drainage lines on low hills. Soils are reddish sandy loams or reddish, coarse alluvial sands derived from a wide range of rock types including schists and quartzites.
Ironwood grows in open shrublands and low open woodlands, commonly associated with mulga (A. aneura). A wide range of other species may be present which include eucalypts (E. camaldulensis, E. aparrerinja, E. terminalis, E. coolabah) and shrubs such as Senna spp. and Hakea spp.
Related species: Ironwood (sect. Plurinerves) is closely related to A. excelsa, which also has the common name ironwood and is a tall tree occurring in inland Queensland and inland northern New South Wales. The two species are very similar both having a weeping habit, however, A. excelsa differs in having shorter, broader phyllodes that lack the kink at the gland and it has wider pods.
Publication: S. Sci. Rec. 2, 150 (1882). Type: Finke River, Northern Territory, H. Kempe.
Names: Botanical—Latin e (without), strophiola (an aril), in reference to its seeds which lack an aril. Common—refers to the hardness of the wood.
Bark: Rough, longitudinally fissured, brown weathering to grey-brown.
Foliage: Seedling—first leaf pair pinnate with 5 leaflet pairs, second leaf bipinnate, at the third leaf stage the petiole elongates and flattens with a bipinnate leaf persisting at the apex, fourth or fifth leaf stage phyllodinous. Juvenile— phyllodes, erect, broad, crowded in clusters. Adult—phyllodes, pendulous, linear, often slightly kinked at the gland, 4-11 X 0.2-0.5 cm, coriaceous, pale green, nerves 3 or 4 sometimes with sparsely reticulate minor nerves; gland up to 1 cm from pulvinus.
Inflorescences: Simple, globular heads, 1-2 per axil on peduncles 0.5-1.2 cm long, heads 30 to 35-flowered, creamy to pale yellow; flowers 5-merous, sepals free. Apparently flowers irregularly in response to rain.
Fruits: Pods, oblong to narrowly oblong, 6-10 X 0.5-0.7 cm, chartaceous, transversely reticulate, breaking readily at constrictions between seeds, margins thickened. Seeds longitudinally aligned, oblong-elliptic, dull, brown, funicle
thin, aril absent. Mature pods are present during Nov.-Dec. and are held on the tree for considerable periods.
Wood: Heartwood dark brown, attractively grained, heavy, density probably around 1100 kg m-3; used for heavy implements by Aboriginal people but not a favoured firewood as it burns too slowly. A white gum exuded from holes made by borers is a food source for Aboriginal people.
Climate: Altitudinal range: 180-840 m; Hottest/coldest months: 36-39°C/4-8°C; Frost incidence: low to moderate; Rainfall: 150-300 mm per year, slight summer max.
Distinctive features: A graceful tree with a spreading pendulous crown; phyllodes with a slight kink at the position of the gland; flower heads, globular, axillary, 1-2 per axil, pale yellow; pods with thickened margins often unevenly constricted between the seeds; seeds with a thin funicle and lacking an aril.
Acacia estrophiolata 1. Bark 2. Young seedling 3. Adult phyllodes 4. Seedling phyllodes 5. Flowering sprig 6. Seedling 7. Pods 8. Seeds 9. Tree, Ongeva Creek, N.T. 10. Tree, Mueller Creek, N.T. 11. Phyllode nervation
Brigalow Brigalow Spearwood, Orkor
Brigalow is a small to medium-sized tree, usually 12-20 m tall. At its best it attains a height of 25 m and diameters of 0.6 m. It grows commonly in very dense stands in which the crown is restricted to the top one-quarter to one-third of the tree, the trunk being moderately straight. Sawlogs of 5 x 0.4 m are often available.
Brigalow is moderately to very common over an area of some 750 000 km2 in eastern Australia. It has its greatest development over an area about 850 km long and up to 400 km wide from Collinsville in Queensland to the border with New South Wales, but it extends southwards a further 350 km to inland New South Wales. Although near the coast in some areas, its main distribution is 150-500 km from the sea in Queensland and up to 800 km in New South Wales.
Brigalow attains its best development on plains topography with heavy black clay soils and, while it extends to poor soils, it is rarely found on hills and ridges. Large areas of the best sites have been cleared for cropping, mainly wheat, but regrowth from root suckers, a strong characteristic of the species, is a limiting factor in the use of brigalow areas. In its main areas brigalow grows in very dense stands, often constituting 90 per cent of the vegetation. Associated species include Coowara box (Eucalyptus cambageana) and poplar box (E. populnea) as emergents. In some areas it may be co-dominant with belah (Casuarina cristata).
Related species: Brigalow (sect. Plurinerves) is related to black gidyea (A. argyrodendron) which also attains tree size but has smaller, 4-merous flower heads with fewer flowers per head (12 compared with 15-30 or more for brigalow), longer racemes, flat pods and occurs to the north of the brigalow belt mainly in the Cape, Suttor and Belyando River basins.
Publication: Fl. Austral. 2, 389 (1864). Type: Rockhampton area, Queensland, A. Thozet.
Names: Botanical—Greek harpe (sickle or hook), phyllon (leaf), in allusion to the shape of the phyllodes. Common—of Aboriginal origin.
Bark: Moderately thick (2-4 cm) on the lower stem, deeply furrowed longitudinally, hard, dark brown to almost black, persistent to the upper parts of stems; branchlets ribbed.
Foliage: Seedling—alternate, petiolate to 0.4-0.9 cm long, first two leaves pinnate with 4-7 pairs of leaflets which are shortly petiolate, oblong to obovate-oblong, straight or slightly falcate, obtuse, shortly mucronate, 0.4-1 x 0.1-0.3 cm, glabrous, green above and paler beneath; third leaf phyllodinous, 7-18 x 0.2-0.7 cm, bearing also 3 pairs of leaflets. Adult—phyllodes falcate, tapered equally to each end, mainly 10-20 x 0.7-1.6 cm, strongly pruinose, rather thick, usually glabrous; 3-5 rather prominent parallel longitudinal veins.
Inflorescences: Short 3-8 branched axillary racemes, which may sometimes be reduced to what appears to be few flower heads, heads 15 to 30-flowered, light yellow; 4 or sometimes 5-merous, sepals partially fused. Flowering is somewhat erratic but usually Jul.-Sept.
Fruits: Pods, narrowly oblong, subterete, slightly raised over and constricted between seeds, 7-20 x 0.5-1 cm, crustaceous, longitudinally nerved. Seeds longitudinally aligned, oblong or broadly elliptic, soft, dull, brown, funicle thin, aril absent. Mature Oct.-Nov.
Wood: Heartwood dark reddish brown, hard, very strong and at least moderately durable in the ground except sometimes for the sapwood, fine-textured, density 930-1135 kg m-3. It splits readily and takes a high polish, but is hard on tool edges; it has the faintest scent of violets. The heartwood is moderately resistant to fungi and very resistant to common Australian termites. Care is needed when handling green timber, as it may cause dermatitis. The timber is not usually marketed nowadays, but it has been used in the past for small, heavy construction as well as turnery and furniture. Formerly used by Aboriginal people to make weapons such as spear-shafts, boomerangs and nulla-nullas.
Climate: Altitudinal range: (50-)120-330 m; Hottest/coldest month: 32-34°C/4-7°C; Frost incidence: moderate (2-18 heavy frosts a year); Rainfall: 300-700 mm per year, summer max.
Distinctive features: This acacia is not readily confused with other species. In addition to the rather large, falcate, silvery-grey phyllodes, the apices of the leaves are obtuse and the pods longitudinally striate. This is a first-class tree for shelter, planted in single rows, as well as being a fine shade and ornamental species.
Acacia harpophylla 1. Stand of regeneration, near Moonie, Qld 2. Adult phyllodes 3. Inflorescences 4. Fruits 5. Seeds 6. Tree, near Emerald, Qld 7. Bark 8. Seedling
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