Acacia disparrima (MIMOSACEAE) Hickory Wattle

Plants to Plant

Dense tree to 15 m. 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. Seed pods are fawn brown, thickish, slightly curved. Seeds are black. Germination in 1-4 weeks. Formerly widely known as Acacia aulacocarpa.

Foliage and flowers. Photo: Robert Whyte

In Gardens

Can be quite scraggly, but does well where it gets enough water in very well drained soils. Many of the wattles that spring up in gardens and bushland (from bird carried seed) are A. 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). Pollen source for bees.
Fruit. Photo: Robert Whyte

Name and Host Plant

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

World Wide Wattle

Tubestock. Photo: Robert Whyte