Acacia melanoxylon | ‘Australian Blackwood’, ‘Mudgerabah’, ‘Sally Wattle’ | 25 seeds
Acacia melanoxylon is an Australian member of the Fabaceae family, native to the Eastern and Western parts of the country. Ranging from small shrub to large tree, melanoxylon averages between ten and twenty metres in height, although specimens as high as forty metres have been recorded in Tasmania.
Although favouring fertile, slightly acidic soils with relatively high annual rainfall, the species grows across a diverse range of habitats, including cooler rainforests, mountainous flats, riverine areas, sandy loams, valleys and wet ‘sclerophyll’ forest. It’s fire-adapted and moderately drought, frost and waterlogging-resistant and so is consequently a hardy and long-lived species (the oldest known was approximately two hundred and ten years old when harvested!).
Now widespread in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, the Pacific, South America and the USA, melanoxylon is a popular feature of many parks and other public and private ornamental gardens, as well as finding use for nitrogen-fixing, erosion control, revegetation and as a windbreak or shade tree. Other traditional uses for the tree and its products include as a fodder for cattle and sheep, a source of wood for making furniture, veneers and musical instruments, a source of pulp for making paper, in boatbuilding and as fuelwood. Furthermore, Australian Aborigines use melanoxylon to make fishing line, weapons, a topical analgesic and an agent to poison fish, as well as for its edible gum.
Well-established around the globe, the species is known variously as ‘Acacia A Bois Noir’, ‘Acacia Nera Australiana’, ‘Aromo Negro’, ‘Australian Blackwood’, ‘Australian Ysterhout’, ‘Australiese Swarthout’, ‘Black Wattle’, ‘Blackwood Acacia’, ‘Blackwood Wattle’, ‘Blackwood’, ‘Ébano-da-Austrália’, ‘Hickory’, ‘Madeira-Preta’, ‘Maogani-da-Austrália’, ‘Mogno-da-Austrália’, ‘Mudgerabah’, ‘Paluma Blackwood’, ‘Sally Wattle’, ‘Schwarzholz Akazie’, ‘Swamp Blackwood’ and ‘Tasmanian Blackwood’.
Provided proper pre-treatment is applied, Acacia melanoxylon is easy to grow from seed (properly stored melanoxylon seed has been observed to be viable for fifty years or more) and has also been successfully propagated via root cuttings and tissue culture. Germination occurs between 15°C-35°C, with the optimum temperature 25°C. It should take about five to seven days before you see the first sprouts. Diluted phosphate fertilisers can be applied sparingly once plants are established; good drainage is key.
Acacia melanoxylon is certainly worthy of further attention from the wider Acacia-growing community, adding some welcome diversity to any garden!
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018-2019