Acacia melanoxylon

Scientific name: Acacia melanoxylon

Author: R. Br.

Common name: Blackwood, Mudgerabah  

Family: Fabaceae Subfamily: Mimosoideae

 

Acacia melanoxylon   

Location

For location details ask at the Visitor Centre.


Even without the myriad of cool climate plants gathered here to display the plant kingdom’s Gondwanan links, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden would be putting on its golden mantle at this time. The bouquets of triumphant Olympian athletes contained Australia’s floral emblem, Acacia pycnantha, the Golden Wattle, a vibrant, shrubby, dry land dweller from New South Wales through Victoria to South Australia. By contrast, A. melanoxylon, clothed in pale golden to cream, can grow to 45 m high and across its wide distribution, from northern Queensland to Tasmania and westward to South Australia, displays a preference for wetter climes, frequenting wet sclerophyll forest and cool rainforest.

Attractive timber shades of brown, often quite dark, are source for the specific epithet, melanoxylon, from the Greek ‘melanos’ black and ‘xylon’ wood and also provide the common name, ‘blackwood’. Having a strong surface lustre and often beautifully figured with stripes and fiddleback pattern, blackwood is prized for cabinet work, panelling, inlays, bent work and staves. Alex Floyd in ‘Rainforest Trees of mainland south-eastern Australia’, also informs us of the good acoustic qualities of the timber and its suitability for violin backs.