Common Name: Black Wattle

Botanical Name: Acacia ariculoformis

Larrakia Name: Gwalamarrwa

Black wattle is a large spreading tree growing up to 10-20 high. It has distinctive yellow flowers that form in long 5-8cm cylinders during April – July.  It has distinctive twisted leathery seedpods containing black seeds which are attached with short orange arils.  

Aboriginal Uses 

Wood is used for spear throwers and axe handles. Crushed seeds are used for fish poison and crushed pods are used for a bush soap lather. On Tiwi Islands, the trunk is used to make dugout canoes. Flowers are an important source of nectar for native bees. When this plant flowers, it signals that the stingray are fat and ready to be hunted.  It also indicates that the eggs of the tern (sea-bird) are ready to be eaten.

Interesting Facts

Wattle is an important “pioneer plant” as it establishes a new habitat in areas where nothing else is growing. It will help re-establish areas damaged by bush fire assisting with soil erosion. It fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil which assists other plants to rapidly develop their root systems and regenerate. Once it has completed this role, it will die off. It is an important tree for erosion control, coastal stabilisation and rehabilitation work.