Acacia melanoxylon. BLACKWOOD ACACIA. South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria,
LEGUMINOSAE (Pea family)
A substantial tree, often seen more than 50 feet tall and with a trunk more than a foot in diameter. The flower display in March is occasionally impressive but may go unnoticed as the pale cream color is not striking. Generally speaking, blackwood acacia dispenses with leaves, clothing itself with matte gray-green phyllodes 3 to 6 inches long with pronounced parallel venation, but seedlings and young sprouts from the trunk often exhibit feathery leaves emerging from the phyllodes in a very surprising way. The numerous pods are often a conspicuous feature of the tree. If examined, they will reveal shiny black seeds ringed by a red horseshoe-shaped umbilical cord that can be used as a tow-rope by ants. It can be seen on Dueña Street at Building 520, and at the intersection of Lomita and Lagunita drives and elsewhere at Kingscote Gardens. An impressive specimen around 80 feet tall is on the lawn opposite 60–70 Pearce Mitchell Place. Numerous others are to be found in the older residential area, and on Hanover Street, Palo Alto (2151, 2301, 2349, and 2357). The reputedly tallest blackwood acacia in the United States in Kohee State Park, Hawaii, reached 78 feet some years ago. We may have overtaken it.
Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Illustrations (links open new windows): Silhouettes from Trees of Stanford & its EnvironsAdditions/Revisions:
Name derivation, genus | species Greek akis, a sharp point | with black woodRelated material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library