Acacia pruinocarpa

Botanical Name

Acacia pruinocarpa Tindale

Common Name(s)

  • black gidgee
  • black wattle
  • western gidgee

Legume Clades

Native Geographic Range

  • Australia

IUCN Status

Growth Form

tree

Cultivation Status in AZ

Rarely cultivated

Description

Black gidgee forms tidy to somewhat irregular, unarmed, evergreen, low-branched trees 15--35 ft (4.5--10.6 m) high or sometimes develops as large, multiple-stemmed shrubs. The bark is smooth and gray, and becomes fissured with age. The broadly linear to elliptic, leathery, blue-green phyllodes are 2.5--7 in (7--18 cm) long. Showy golden yellow flowers are produced in spherical heads on inflorescences and appear during the spring months.

Habitat

Widespread in central and western Australia in desert habitats, often in deep, sandy soil on plains, along drainages, and occasionally on rocky hills. The plants typically occur as scattered individuals or in small groups.

Uses

The wood of this species is suitable for making small wooden objects and as fuel. Livestock browse the foliage. The plants sometimes produce edible gum.

Horticulture

Scarification of black gidgee seeds improves germination though isn’t necessary. Growth rate is slow to moderate with supplemental irrigation. Minimal pruning is necessary except to remove freeze-damaged stems. Established plants are extremely drought and heat tolerant. The foliage is damaged at ca. 22° F (-5.5° C) and stem damage occurs below 20° F (-6.5° C). The plants readily recover from freeze damage the following season. No pest or disease problems have been observed. Black gidgee is resistant to high winds. The trees are attractive with their blue-green foliage and gray bark, and are adapted to the rigors of hot desert climates. They are suitable as a patio trees, small shade trees or can be planted as a screen. The plants require little maintenance and produce sparse litter of fallen phyllodes. This species has become available on a limited basis in Arizona.