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Acacia disparrima (MIMOSACEAE) Hickory Wattle

Image: Flowers and foliage

Aacia disparrima
PHOTO: Robert Whyte

Small tree to 9 m (sometimes more) mostly in coastal areas and fringes throughout Queensland and NSW

Branchlets slender with the uppermost few cm angled. Phyllodes somewhat curved, pale grey to blue green with numerous parallel veins, pointed tip. Greenish phyllode stalk with dust-like covering.

A fast way to tell some wattles apart is their flowers (puffballs or spikes) but of course it has to be the right time of year. Hickory Wattle has pale yellow, to lemon yellow sweetly scented flowers in spikes. Pods are thickish, slightly curved. Seeds black.

Until recently had been widely known as Acacia aulacocarpa. The oblique to longitudinally oblique veins in the pod are less prominently raised than in aulacocarpa.

Image: Fruit

Acacia disparrima
Photo: Robert Whyte

Can be quitre scraggly, but does well where it gets enough water in very well drained soils. Most of the wattles that spring up in gardens and bushland (from bird carried seed) are disparrima.

Young plants often have gigantic phylloides, especially when getting plenty of water.

Wood used for boomerangs and clubs. Food source for Australian King Parrot (seeds) and caterpillars of Imperial Hairstreak Butterfly (leaves). Pollen source for bees.

Image: Tubestock

Acacia disparrima
Photo: Robert Whyte

Acacia from Greek akakia, the shittah tree, Acacia arabica; which is derived from the Greek akanth-a a thorn or prickle (alluding to the spines on the many African and Asian species first described). Disparrima from Latin disparrima, the most unlike, dissimilar, different or unequal referring to the species exhibiting the greatest difference from other renamed species previously described as Acacia aulacocarpa.

Juvenile leaves and flower buds are food for larvae of Fiery Jewel (Hypochrysops ignita), Short-tailed Line-blue (Prosotas felderi), Small Purple Line-blue (Prosotas dubiosa), Double-spotted Line-blue (Nacaduba biocellata), Glistening Blue (Sahulana scintillata), Wattle Blue (Theclinesthes miskini) and probably Common Imperial Hairstreak (Jalmenus evagoras evagoras).

References and Resources