Acacia melanoxylon

Botanical Name : Acacia melanoxylon
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. melanoxylon
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names : Australian Blackwood (The species is also known as Sally Wattle, Lightwood, Hickory, Mudgerabah, Tasmanian Blackwood or Black Wattle)

Habitat :Acacia melanoxylon is  native in eastern AustraliaNew South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria. Locally naturalized in S.W. Europe. It grows in wet forests on good soils up to the montane zone. Usually an under-storey tree in Eucalyptus forests.

Description:
Acacia melanoxylon is an evergreen .Trees often 10–20 m tall and 0.5 m dbh, but varies from small shrubs to one of the largest acacias in Australia, attaining heights up to 40 m and diameters of 1–1.5 m on lowlands in northwestern Tasmania, and in southern Victoria. In open situations the smaller and medium-sized  Blackwood trees are freely branched from near ground level, but the largest plants have  welldeveloped  trunk which is usually fairly cylindrical but may be shortly buttressed or flanged at the base…....CLICK   &   SEE

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Crowns dense. May spread by root suckers. Juvenile bipinnate leaves often persist on young plants. Bark hard, rough, longitudinally furrowed and scaly, brownish grey to very dark grey. This description is adapted from Doran & Turnbull (1997).

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid and neutral soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sandy loam and a very sunny position. Prefers a deep moist soil. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is not excessively limey. Most members of this genus become chlorotic on limey soils. This is one of the hardier members of the genus, tolerating temperatures down to about -10°c. It succeeds outdoors in Britain from Dorset westwards, also in south-western Scotland and in Ireland. However, even in the mildest areas of the country it is liable to be cut back to the ground in excessively cold winters though it can resprout from the base. It is planted for timber in south-west Europe. This species produces both phyllodes (basically a flattened stem that looks and acts like a leaf) and true leaves. The roots are very vigorous and extensive – they often produce suckers and can damage the foundations of buildings. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in March. The seed germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 25°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage.

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Edible Uses: Flowers – cooked. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. The flowers have a penetrating scent.

Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic. :Bathe in a bark infusion for rheumatism.

Other Uses :
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion. The bark is rich in tannin.

Acacia melanoxylon wood is valued for its highly decorative timber which may be used as a cabinet timber, for musical instruments or in boatbuilding.(Wood is hard, dark, close grained, high quality, takes a high polish.)

The tree’s twigs and its bark are used to poison fish as a way of fishing.

Plain and Figured Australian Blackwood is used in musical instrument making (in particular guitars, drums, Hawaiian ukuleles, violin bows and organ pipes), and in recent years has become increasingly valued as a substitute for koa wood.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_melanoxylon
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acacia+melanoxylon
http://www.cuyamaca.net/oh170/characteristic%20pages/acacia%20melanoxylon.asp
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.worldwidewattle.com/infogallery/utilisation/acaciasearch/pdf/melanoxylon.pdf

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