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Acacia hylonoma (Family Fabaceae)



This species occurs in north-eastern Queensland where it is restricted to a few localities around Cairns. The latitude is about 17o S and the altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. (QLD)


This acacia can be a large tree up to 25 m tall and with a diameter of 40 cm. The bark is yellowish-brown and the branchlets very angular and reddish in colour. Phyllodes are straight or curved, hairless, 8-14 cm long and 7-16 mm wide with 4-10 longitudinal veins. The flowers are in twin globular heads on short stalks. The pods are papery, about 9 cm long and 1 cm wide. Flowering is from August-November and seed matures in December. There are about 41 000 viable seeds per kilogram and pre-treatment with boiling water for one minute promotes germination.

Ecology/Way of Life:

This acacia is found between the hot, wet and hot, sub-humid climatic zones. The area is frost-free. Mean annual rainfall is about 2200 mm with a well-developed summer maximum and rain recorded on about 150 days each year. It grows on coastal lowlands on red earths and yellow-brown loams over granite and sometimes amongst granite boulders. Acacia hylonoma is one of the few acacias found in lowland rainforest. It is favoured by disturbance and is a component of rainforest regrowth. Its associates include Flindersia pimenteliana, F. bourjotiana, Acacia celsa (formerly A. aulacocarpa) and Alstonia muellerana.

Preferred Image

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

Acacia hylonoma appears to be adaptable with high survival on a range of site in the tropics but is relatively slow-growing compared to some other tropical acacias. Little is known of its wood properties but it should provide good fuel. It is a useful ornamental tree for poorly drained soils with a high clay content in the tropics.

Other Comments:

Acacia hylonoma was named in1978 by Queensland botanist, Les Pedley. The name comes from the Greek akakia = a thorny plant, specifically Acacia arabica; hyle = forest or woodland, and nomos = abode, referring to this species' woodland habitat.

Further Reading:

Doran, J.C. and Turnbull, J.W. (eds.) 1997. Australian trees and shrubs; species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. ACIAR Monograph no. 24. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. 384p.

Pedley, L. 1978. A revision of Acacia Mill. in Queensland. Austrobaileya 1: 75-234.


Plant structure Germination Soils Vegetation types Pollination Ornamental Firewood Fodder


Text & map from Australian Trees and Shrubs, courtesy Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research; text edited by J. Turnbull; photo courtesy J. Turnbull.

Sponsored by:

John Turnbull/ACIAR

Images and Multi-media:  
Attached Image  
image/jpeg 56184 bytes Acacia hylonoma
Distribution Map  
image/jpeg 23972 bytes Distribution of Acacia hylonoma

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