Acacia decurrens (green wattle)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Wood Products
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Acacia decurrens (Wendl.) Willd.
Preferred Common Name
- green wattle
Other Scientific Names
- Acacia angulata Desv.
- Mimosa angulata (Desv.) Poir.
- Mimosa decurrens Wendl.
- Racosperma decurrens (Willd.) Pedley
International Common Names
- English: black wattle
- French: Acacie noire
Local Common Names
- Australia: early black wattle; Sydney green wattle
- Brazil: acácia-da-austrália; acácia-negra; black acacia
- Germany: Schwarze Akazie
- India: hara babul; peek jyali
- Italy: acacia nera
- Netherlands: rijswilg, zwarte
- ACADC (Acacia decurrens)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Subfamily: Mimosoideae
- Genus: Acacia
- Species: Acacia decurrens
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
In the past, citation of the authority for the name Acacia decurrens has been attributed to either "(Wendl.) Willd." or "Willd" (see J.H. Ross, Flora of Southern Africa 16: 108, 1975, for details). The specific epithet refers to the angular ridges on the branchlet extremities which that run down from the bases of the bipinnate leaves (Hall and Johnson, 1993). Descriptions and illustrations are given in Maiden (1907), Morrison and Davies (1991), Whibley and Symon (1992) and Tame (1992). A number of varieties have also been described for A. decurrens but all are synonyms of related species.
A. decurrens is probably closely related to and may be confused with A. parramattensis, A. filicifolia and A. dangarensis. The main character distinguishing A. decurrens from these species is its decurrent petioles. Acacia parramattensis is probably often mistakenly grown as A. decurrens according to Tame (1992). Natural hybrids are known between A. baileyana and A. decurrens (Burbidge and Gray, 1970), A. dealbata and A. decurrens, and A. decurrens and A. mearnsii (B.R. Maslin, Western Australian Herbarium, pers. comm.).
DescriptionTop of page
Plant TypeTop of page
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|-Guangdong||Present||Introduced||Planted||Original citation: Yang Minquan et al., 1994|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Introduced||First reported: 1870s|
|-California||Present, Localized||Introduced||Original citation: California Invasive Plant Council (CAL-IPC) (1999)|
|-New South Wales||Present||Native||Invasive|
|-South Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Planted||Original citation: Department and Western (2002)|
|-Victoria||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Planted||Original citation: Department and Western (2002)|
|-Western Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Planted||Original citation: Department and Western (2002)|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Introduced||Planted|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural grasslands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Natural hybrids are known between A. decurrens and A. baileyana, A. dealbata, A. mearnsii, and A. mearnsii will hybridize in cultivation (New, 1984). Philp and Sherry (1946, 1949) reviewed the incidence of hybrids between A. decurrens and A. mearnsii with a view to improving forestry stock. Features of such hybrids are discussed by Moffett (1965a, b) and Moffett and Nixon (1958). A. baileyana and A. decurrens are known to hybridize quite frequently and the hybrids appear to be more susceptible to insect galls than either parent species (Burbidge and Gray, 1970). Moran et al. (1989) included A. decurrens in an allozyme study to estimate overall genetic diversity in species of Acacia relative to A. mangium. Based on plants from the Goulburn population, A. decurrens had similar levels of expected heterozygosity relative to the other Acacia species tested. The Australian Tree Seed Centre (ATSC), CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, Canberra, Australia, supplies research seedlots for provenance or progeny trials which have been collected from throughout the natural range of A. decurrens. A list of other Australian government and private seed suppliers is also available from ATSC.
Physiology and Phenology
Flowers are produced during July, August and early September but may vary with seasonal conditions, locality and particularly altitude (Clemson, 1985). Morrison and Davies (1991) indicate a longer flowering period extending from June to early December. The time between flowering and pod maturation is 5-6 months (Boland, 1987) but pods are not produced every year (Pryor and Banks, 1991). It is a relatively short-lived species that declines in vigour after 10-15 years (Pryor and Banks, 1991).
A. decurrens regenerates via seedling recruitment, root suckering and coppicing (Ruskin, 1983). Light fire will promote profuse seedling regeneration (Midgley and Vivekanandan, 1987) with 32,000 seedlings/ha, up to 3-4 m in height recorded after two years (Weeraratne, 1964). Moncur et al. (1991) studied the reproductive behaviour of A. mearnsii, a relative of A. decurrens, and, like A. mearnsii, the flowers of A. decurrens are protogynous and contain a single ovary with around 12-14 ovules. There are about 40 anthers per flower each of which are comprised of locules which contain 16-grain polyads and only one polyad is needed for fertilization of the ovary. A study of the breeding behaviour of A. decurrens and A. mearnsii showed that self-fertilization in both these species leads to a decrease in fertility and general vigour (Moffett and Nixon, 1974).
Boland (1987) considered A. decurrens to have moderate frost tolerance and based on its natural occurrence recorded it as a species of the warm subhumid to humid climatic zone with mean annual rainfall of 900-1150 mm. The following data is representative of the natural distribution of A. decurrens and is derived from meteorological stations at Goulburn, Nowra, Singleton, Springwood in New South Wales (Hall et al., 1981): mean annual rainfall is 669-1153 mm; the 50 percentile rainfall is 627-993 mm, 10 percentile 447-686 mm; the mean maximum of the hottest month is 26-30°C and mean minimum of the coolest month is 1-5°C; the coolest part of natural range receives 25 frosts per year and it will tolerate temperatures as low as -6°C.
Webb et al. (1984) give the following climatic amplitude for A. decurrens based on its successful cultivation in various countries: mean annual rainfall 900-2000 mm with a 2-3 month dry season, a summer/uniform rainfall regime; mean annual temperature 12-18°C; mean maximum temperature of the hottest month 16-24°C; and mean minimum temperature of the coldest month 2-10°C.
Ruskin (1983) notes that A. decurrens prefers deep, light to medium, free-draining soils and that it occurs naturally on moderately fertile soils which include acid and neutral yellow earths, acid-bleached red duplex soils, podsols and brown earths. They are mainly derived from shales but some are derived from basalt. A. decurrens has also been noted on shales, where its best growth is on deep, well-drained soils (Beadle et al., 1982; Baker and Corringham, 1995), on riverbanks and rises (Morrison and Davies, 1991), and on relatively heavy soils (Tame, 1992). The natural altitudinal range is 25-1000 m where native in Australia, commonly 100-700 m (Boland, 1987), and 1000-2500 m where introduced (Webb et al., 1984).
A. decurrens occurs mainly in eucalypt forests and woodlands (Tame, 1992) and is recorded as a component of tall E. pilularis forests (Beadle, 1981). Ectomychorrhizal associations improve growth by enhancing absorption of nutrients from the soil (Reddell & Warren, 1987). A. decurrens is a relatively promiscuous host for Rhizobia as 75-100% of Rhizobium strains tested successfully nodulated (Roughley, 1987).
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-6|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||12||18|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||16||24|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||2||10|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||2||3||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||900||2000||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Diseases known to attack A. decurrens are Corticum salmonicolor in Malaysia (Singh, 1973) and gummosis (Ceratocystis fimbriata) in Brazil (Ribeiro et al., 1988); and Ganoderma lucidum root rot in Madhya Pradesh, India (Harsh et al., 1993). Lee (1993) lists the following diseases known to cause significant damage to acacias: powdery mildew (Erysiphe acaciae), acacia gall rust (Uromycladium notabile), root rots (Ganoderma spp. and Phellinus spp.); heart rot (Phellinus sp.) and various wood decay hymenomycetes.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Highly mobile locally
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
UsesTop of page
Ruskin (1983) notes the wood of A. decurrens has been used for building poles, mine props, fence posts and hardboard production. In India, A. decurrens has been considered a valuable timber species (Gamble, 1972) where according to Maiden (1889) it was grown extensively. This species is one of several species reported by Clark et al. (1994) as having kraft pulp yields within the range of commercial pulpwoods. Kraft pulping and bleaching studies of plantation-grown eucalypts and acacias, which included A. decurrens, pulped to relatively high yields and their pulps bleached readily to high brightness (Hannah et al., 1977). A. decurrens was amongst the species that showed low bulk, high bursting strength and high breaking length and was considered suitable for fine paper furnishes. Pulp from A. decurrens was readily bleached to high brightness levels and the bleached pulp properties would be suitable for end products such as writing and printing papers (Logan and Balodis, 1982).
A. decurrens has the potential to be an excellent source of fuelwood. Maiden (1889) notes that the wood of A. decurrens provides an excellent fuel even when green. Individual farm woodlots of A. decurrens and A. mearnsii are an important source of woody biomass production in Swaziland (Allen et al., 1988; Allen, 1990).
In the past, A. decurrens was used in Australia for the tanning of hides when the industry was locally viable (Clemson, 1985), however, its bark is much thinner and inferior in quality to A. mearnsii (Maiden, 1889). The bark of A. decurrens yields 35-40% good quality tannin but contains an excessively red-coloured tannin extract (Ruskin, 1983; Luyt et al., 1987). Thus, its tannin is considered to reduce the value of leather and tannin from species such as A. mearnsii is preferred. Ruskin (1983), however, notes that this problem with tannin from A. decurrens could be overcome by changing the tanning process or by the addition of additives. A. decurrens is still the main tannin producing species exploited in Indonesia (Prayitno, 1982), where the addition of 5-10% of tannin-formaldehyde, made from the tannin from A. decurrens bark, is used to manufacture fibreboard from mixed wood species (Silitonga et al., 1974). Tannin-formaldehyde from A. decurrens significantly improves the strength, water-absorption and thickness-swelling properties of the boards and the cost of its production is reduced by the addition of urea to the tannin (Santoso and Sutigno, 1995). Dyes extracted from the leaves of A. decurrens have also been used to colour wool yellow or green depending on the mordant used (Martin, 1974).
A. decurrens is also known for the production of wattle gum. According to Maiden (1889), the tree yields copious gum during the summer months and was used to make jelly-like confection; its gum has also been used as a substitute for gum arabic (Macmillan et al., 1991). A. decurrens produces medium to abundant quantities of pollen during good flowering seasons as a potential source of bee forage (Clemson, 1985). Seeds have a high oil content with potential for use as a 'drying oil' (Subba Rao, 1959). Leaves have also been used for green manure production (Webb et al., 1984), though A. decurrens is not known for its fodder value in Australia.
Uses ListTop of page
- Boundary, barrier or support
- Shade and shelter
- Soil improvement
Wood ProductsTop of page
- Building poles
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- Exterior fittings
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.No literature describing the cultural, chemical or mechanical control of A. decurrens were found. However, Henderson (2001) reports that research work in South Africa is currently investigating the potential of seed feeding insects as biological control agents. ARC (2003) report that Melanterius maculatus (Curculionidae) was released in South Africa in 2003 as a biological control agent against A. decurrens, however, the degree of control provided is unknown. Hill et al. (2000) provide details of trials in New Zealand using Bruchophagus acaciae (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). Seed destruction of A. decurrens by this species was less successful than in A. dealbata and A. baileyana.
ReferencesTop of page
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