An understorey tree in wet eucalypt forests, a pioneer in riverine rainforest and a dominant tree in blackwood/teatree swamps in northwest Tasmania.
Phyllodes are 7-10 cm, greyish turning dark dull-green, straight to slightly curved, with 3-7 prominent longitudinal veins and fine net-veins between.
Flowers are pale yellow, globular puff balls, pleasantly scented.
Melanoxylon from Greek mela black or dark: and xulon wood, cut and ready for use, or tree, referring to the dark timber of this species.
Flowers Photo: Robert Whyte
Foliage (true leaves)
True leaves Photo: Robert Whyte
Generally prefers coloer climates but has a very broad range of favoured habitats including agricultural areas, coastland, disturbed areas, estuaries, natural and planted forests, grasslands, riparian zones, scrub/shrublands, urban areas and wetlands.
Its root system is aggressive and shallow. It tolerates drought, poor drainage, any soil, salt air, gusty, steady or cold winds, fog, smog, temperature extremes but is Not a shade lover. Lives for 15 – 50 years. Suckers also possible if roots disturbed.
Twisted seed pods Photo: Robert Whyte
Host to larvae of Tailed Emperor (Polyura sempronius) and Common or Large Grass-yellow (Eurema hecabe hecabe) which both feed on juvenile foliage only. Also Stencilled Hairstreak (Jalmenus ictinus), Common Imperial Hairstreak (Jalmenus evagoras evagoras) and Silky Hairstreak (Pseudalmenus chlorinda).
Blue Jewel butterfly. Photo: from BOIC website
Tubestock Photo: Robert Whyte