Northern Black Wattle Nagraj Salian/Flickr

Northern Black Wattle

Fast growing medium-sized tree, 16 - 30 m tall that forms dense foliage cover. It is particularly drought resistant, and tolerates poor soil conditions.


Long, slightly curved leaves 10 - 20 cm long.


Grouped yellow flowers in a spike, up to 8 cm long, develop from February to August.


Pods flat but strongly coiled, brown, linear to oblong that contain shiny black seeds.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Throughout the year
  • Easy to identify during flowering season (February to August)

Where To Look

  • Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia
  • Well-drained sandy soils, beside waterways and swamps, and in closed or low open forests
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

Acacia polystachya can be distinguished by smaller bladed leaves that have a red or pink gland visible on the upper side. Flowers are also spiked, but are sparse and white, with pods that are usually twisted, curved or coiled to some extent.

A. auriculiformis shares the same common name as A. mearnsii which is unrelated and found in all states except Northern Territory.

Remember the flower (spike) colour can help distinguish between species.