Blackwood Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr

Blackwood

Did You Know?

  • First Nations people used the fine hard wood to make strong spear-throwers, boomerangs, clubs and shields in parts of Victoria; the inner bark was used to make string
  • Invasive in parts of Africa, western Europe, South America, New Zealand and USA (listed in IUCN top 100 of world's most insasive species)
FactBox Image

Small to large tree with a variable height of 3 - 45 m and has a bole that is approximately 150 cm in diameter. It has deeply fissured, dark-grey to black coloured bark that appears quite scaly on older trees.

Leaves

Inclined to ascending, narrowly rounded, lance-shaped, straight to slightly curved. 3-5 raised main veins with numerous secondary veins.

Flowers

Pale yellow/golden to white clusters of 2 - 8 that flowers July – December. In Victoria, it flowers in August - October.

Fruits/Seeds

Seed pods strongly curved, twisted or coiled and 4 - 12 cm long, usually straight-sided to slightily constricted between seeds. Seeds longitudinal, twice-encircled by an orange to red funicle (elongated fleshy structure that supports the seed).

Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower (each ‘flower ball’ is actually a cluster of 30-50 flowers)

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

  • Open seed pods (record all days)

  • Unopened seed pods

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • From winter to summer
  • Flowers appear from July to December
  • Seed pods appear after flowers

Where To Look

  • In every state except Northern Territory
  • Grows in a variety of habitats
  • Mostly wet sclerophyll forest and in or near cooler rainforest
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Blackwood is one of the most wide-ranging tree species in eastern Australia and considerably variable across its range, particularly in leaf size and shape.

Similar Species

Lightwood (Acacia implexa) differs in its whitish funicle around the seed, leaves that are more sickle-shaped and later flowering time.