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Acacia excelsa

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Caesalpinioideae
Tribus: Acacieae
Genus: Acacia
Species: Acacia excelsa
Subspecies: A. e. subsp. angusta – A. e. subsp. excelsa

Acacia excelsa Benth., 1848

Acacia daintreeana F.Muell.
Acacia excelsa var. daintreeana (F.Muell.) Domin
Acacia excelsa var. glaucescens Domin
Acacia excelsa var. polyphleba Domin
Acacia excelsa var. typica Domin
Acacia pterocarpa F.Muell.
Racosperma excelsum (Benth.) Pedley

Native distribution areas:
Acacia excelsa

Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
New South Wales, Queensland

Acacia excelsa habit

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Bentham, G. in T. L. Mitchell, 1848. Journal of an Expedition into the interior of Tropical Australia 225.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Acacia excelsa in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Aug 02. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Acacia excelsa. Published online. Accessed: Aug 02 2019. 2019. Acacia excelsa. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug 02.
Hassler, M. Aug. Acacia excelsa. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. Aug. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: Aug 02 {{{3}}}. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Acacia excelsa in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: Bunkerman, Doodlallie, Ironwood, Rosewood, Wallowa, ironwood

Acacia excelsa, also known as ironwood, rosewood, bunkerman and doodlallie is a tree of the genus Acacia and the subgenus Plurinerves that is endemic to inland parts of north-eastern Australia. In the Gamilaraay language it is known as dhan, gayan or gan.[1]


The shrub or tree typically grows to a height of 3 to 15 m (9.8 to 49.2 ft)[2] can grow to a height of around 20 m (66 ft) and usually has a weeping[3] or erect to spreading habit.[2] It has hard, fissured and deep grey coloured bark and glabrous branchlets.[3] The wood of the tree has a scent similar to cut violets.[4] Like most species of Acacia it has phyllodes rather than true leaves.[4] The glabrous, evergreen phyllodes are straight or slightly curved and have a narrowly elliptic or narrowly oblong shape. The phyllodes are usually 2 to 7 cm (0.79 to 2.76 in) in length but can be as long as 9 cm (3.5 in) and 3 to 22 mm (0.12 to 0.87 in) wide with three to seven prominent longitudinal veins. It blooms between March and June in its natural range producing simple inflorescences that occur in groups of one to four usually in the axils. It has spherical flower-heads are 4 to 8 mm (0.16 to 0.31 in) in diameter and contain 20 to 35 bright yellow flowers.[2] Following flowering it will produce brittle firmly papery seed pods that are flat and straight but are constricted between seeds. The glabrous pods are 4 to 11 cm (1.6 to 4.3 in) in length and 6 to 12 mm (0.24 to 0.47 in) wide finely reticulated veins and often covered in a fine white powdery coating.[2]

The species was first formally described by the botanist George Bentham in 1848 as part of Thomas Mitchell's work Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia. It was reclassified as Racosperma excelsum by Leslie Pedley in 1987 then transferred back to genus Acacia in 2006.[1] The specific epithet means tall and is in reference to the tall habit of the tree.[2]


It has a wide-ranging but scattered distribution throughout inland parts of southern inland Queensland extending into northern and central New South Wales.[3] In New South Wales it is found as far south as Condbolin and as far east as Warialda. It is found growing in sandy loamy soils as a part of open woodland or savannah grassland communities.


The bark of this species, like all Acacias, contain appreciable amounts of tannins and are astringent and can be used for medical purposes including for the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery when used internally or used to treat wounds, haemorrhoids or some eye problems when used externally. The trees can also produce gum from the stems which is also taken internally to treat haemorrhoids and diarrhoea. The wood produced by the tree is close-grained, very tough and hard and elastic and is suitable for cabinet-work and instrument fretboards. It was used by Indigenous Australian peoples to make boomerangs and spearthrowers.[4]
See also

List of Acacia species


"Acacia excelsa' Benth. Dhan,Gayan,Gan in Yuwaalayaay". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
"Acacia excelsa Benth". PlantNet. Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
"Acacia excelsa". World Wide Wattle. Western Australian Herbarium. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
Ken Fern and Ajna Fern (2014). "Acacia excelsa Benth. Fabaceae". Useful Tropical Plants. Retrieved 2 October 2020.

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