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Blackwood

Blackwood

Acacia melanoxylon

This is a fast growing tall tree with a dense canopy. It is hardy and long-lived with a tendency to sucker if roots are damaged.

Leaves have juvenile (bipinnate) and adult (phyllode) forms, often seen on same plant. Grows up to 30m in Mountain Ash forest gullies.

A. melanoxylon
Photographer - Bruce Fuhrer
A. melanoxylon
Photographer - Ross Field

It has a rough bark and creamy ball-like flowers in winter-spring and twisted seedpods in summer.

The larvae of the Victorian Hairstreak butterfly feed on the foliage and are attended by strong smelling (formic acid) black ants. The tree fixes nitrogen. Yellowtail Black Cockatoos extract large wattle goat moth and longicorn beetle grubs which bore through timber.

The tree produces an excellent timber for furniture-making. Fibre in the bark was used by aborigines for fishing lines, and the hard wood to make woomeras, spears and clubs.The bark was infused with water and used to treat rheumatism.

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