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Products > Plants - Browse Alphabetically > Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon - Black Acacia
Image of Acacia melanoxylon
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Mimosaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pale Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 10-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Acacia melanoxylon (Black Acacia) - A very quick-growing upright tree to 40 feet tall or much more with about a 20 feet width and, in maturity, an oval shaped crown. It has rough dark gray bark with vertical fissures and mid-green leaf-like flattened stems, called "phyllodes", that are 3 to 5 inches long by about an inch wide, with one margin straight and the other slightly curved. Small creamy white flowers are in a small ball-like cluster from late winter into spring and are followed by thin curling seed pods that hang in brownish sheaves. Plant in full sun to light shade in soil with fairly good drainage. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F and tolerant of heat, alkalinity and coastal conditions. A durable tree for quick growth, screening and erosion control. While useful for screeding, its aggressive roots can lift sidewalks, damage foundations and plumbing and together with leaf, seed pod and branch litter and its propensity to sucker and reseed, so it is not ideal for street plantings. It was highly recommended for street tree plantings in California prior to the 1940s, so it is still fairly commonly seen and in Southern California is not seen as an invasive plant, but in the bay area it has been documented as a plant that reseeds a bit, so its use there is not recommended. This tree comes from coastal areas of southeastern Australia where it grows from sea level to 3,500 feet in solitary stands in cool temperate rainforests or as an understory to larger Eucalyptus. The name Acacia comes either from the Greek word 'akazo' meaning "to sharpen" or from the Egyptian word 'akakia', a name given to the Egyptian Thorn, Acacia arabica. The specific epithet cromes from the Greek words 'melas' meaning "black" and 'xylon' meaing "wood" for the dark wood of this species which also gives it its common name. It is also called Blackwood Acacia as its hard, dark wood makes high-quality lumber and it is used for cabinetry and other decorative work. It was introduced from Australia into England in 1819 and was one of the first Australian plants offered for sale in California. William Walker first listed its availability in his 1858 Golden Gate Nursery catalog (together with 78 other species of Acacia). We have grown this tree since 1980.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of this plant in our nursery crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we visit. We also will incorporate comments that we receive from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Acacia melanoxylon.