Acacia melanoxylon
Family: Fabaceae
Common name: Blackwood

Blackwood has an extensive native range, extending throughout southern Victoria into Tasmania. Blackwood is also found on the basalt plains north of Melbourne where it is found in mixed populations with A. implexa, Lightwood. In these northern habitats, Blackwood does not reach the same very tall size found in the Otways, Tasmania and along the south-east coast of Victoria, often reaching only 10-12m tall. In cultivation, most Blackwoods will grow to only 12-15m, although if the site is ideal, they may reach 20m. Blackwoods are strong-wooded trees, and do not shed limbs as frequently as other wattles or some eucalypts. They are long-lived, often living over 100 years.

Blackwoods are known for their long life, low suckering habit, elegant dark grey-green foliage, and abundant winter flowers. The flowers appear in late winter, and are multi-branched inflorescences of pale yellow balls. The fragrance is sweet. The bark of Blackwoods is dark brown, deeply furrowed, and not typical of many wattles.

Siting of Blackwoods requires soils that have either extremely free drainage or an abundance of organic matter and moisture. These trees probably will not succeed on many dry compacted sites, and if grown in streetscapes, will require an extensive root run. Blackwoods are not suited for narrow nature strips or under power lines (or verandahs).

A. melanoxylon is an excellent indigenous plant for Melbourne if grown in adequately-large areas where both roots and canopy can grow to full potential.

Typical mature height: to 20m in cultivation
Useful in: broad streetscapes, reserves, parks

Sites for best growth: moist, well-drained