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Black Wattle

Acacia leiocalyx ssp. leiocalyx


Acacia leiocalyx, commonly known as black wattle, but also early flowering black wattle, lamb's tail wattle, and curracabah, is a member of the plant family Fabaceae. It is short-lived and grows 6–7 metres (20–23 ft.) tall. A small Acacia tree with usually dark, furrowed bark, sickle-shaped green leaves with prominent veins, the bottom two joined near the base. Flowers are yellow, in narrow spikes. Narrow, rather curly pods in loose bunches. A. leiocalyx is most closely related to Acacia concurrens, but the differences between the two species are subtle. I have chosen this species as my spotting ID, not only because it is common in the Brisbane area, but also because it has been documented in this national park. It also grows as far south as Sydney. There are two recognised subspecies, the second being A. leiocalyx ssp. herveyensis, which grows further north along the Queensland coast.


Spotted at Lake Manchester, a freshwater reservoir west of Brisbane. It is located in Brisbane Forest Park, an area of dense native bushland and subtropical rainforest. This species typically grows in eucalypt forest, woodland and heaths, in sandy or clayey soils. This specimen was in full-sun for much of the day. Recent burn-offs also add nutrients to the otherwise poor soils (last photo).


Every year it's the same thing - I am amazed at how much wattle there is in the Australian bush, and it hides in broad day light. So inconspicuous for most of the year as just a plain-looking tree or shrub that blends in with its surrounds, it suddenly explodes into life in a mass of brilliant yellow colour that seems to be everywhere, and with so many different species. It is beautiful to watch it transform the Australian landscape each year, flowering from June to about early November.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.48, Long: 152.78

Spotted on Jul 22, 2018
Submitted on Aug 4, 2018

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