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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 implexa

Acacia implexa Benth., 1842

Racosperma implexum (Benth.) Pedley

Native distribution areas:
Acacia implexa

Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria
Introduced into:
Cape Provinces

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

Bentham, G., 1842. London Journal of Botany. London 1:368.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Acacia implexa in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Aug 05. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Acacia implexa. Published online. Accessed: Aug 05 2019. 2019. Acacia implexa. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 05 Aug 2019.
Hassler, M. Aug. Acacia implexa. 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 online. Accessed: Aug 05 {{{3}}}. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Acacia implexa in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: screw-pod wattle

Acacia implexa, commonly known as lightwood[1] or hickory wattle,[2][3] is a fast-growing Australian tree, the timber of which is used for furniture making.[1] The wood is prized for its finish and strength. The foliage was used to make pulp and dye cloth.[4]


This long lived[5] small to medium-sized tree with an upright habit and an open crown[3] that typically grows to a height of 5 to 15 m (16 to 49 ft)[1] and a width of 4 to 10 m (13 to 33 ft).[4] The tree can be have a single or multiple stems with rough greyish bark rough. The branchlets commonly lightly covered in waxy bloom but are not prominently ribbed.[5] It has light green slender sickle shaped phyllodes that have a length of up to 20 cm (7.9 in)[2] and a width of 6 to 25 mm (0.24 to 0.98 in) and have three to seven prominent nerves and many other fainter ones that are parallel and branching. Bipinnate leaves may persist on some plants.[5] Young foliage have a purple colour in certain conditions.[4] It blooms in summer and produces spherical cream coloured flowers with a strong perfume.[1][2] The flowerheads have a diameter of 5 to 6 mm (0.20 to 0.24 in) and contain 30 to 52 cream to pale yellow flowers. After flowering thick woody seed pods with a linear and twisted to coiled shape form with a length of 25 cm (9.8 in) and a width of 4 to 7 mm (0.16 to 0.28 in) 25 cm long, 4–7 mm wide, woody or thick.[5]

Dust from the pods can irritate the eyes and nose.[4] It has wood similar to and is often mistaken with Acacia melanoxylon.[3][4]

The species was first formally described by the botanist George Bentham in 1842 as part of the work Notes on Mimoseae, with a synopsis of species as published in the London Journal of Botany. It was reclassified as Racosperma implexum by Leslie Pedley in 1987 and transferred back into its original genus in 2006. The only other synonym is Acacia implexa var. implexa.[6]

It is widespread in eastern Australia from central coastal Queensland to southern Victoria, with outlying populations on the Atherton Tableland in northern Queensland and Tasmania's King Island.[1] The tree is commonly found on fertile plains and in hilly country it is usually part of open forest communities and grows in shallow drier sandy and clay soils.[5]
Aboriginal uses

The Ngunnawal people of the ACT used the bark to make rope, string, medicine and for fish poison, the timber for tools, and the seeds to make flour.[7] The Dharawal people used the flowering of Acacia implexa as a seasonal indicator that fires should not be lit unless they are on sand, and camping near creeks and rivers is avoided during this time.[8]

The species is very hardy and suitable for soil stabilization and bank planting, as a result of the plants suckering habit which can be accelerated if the roots are damaged. It handles full sun well and is drought[3] and frost tolerant to a temperature of −7 °C (19 °F). Very prone to leaf gall.[2]
See also

List of Acacia species


Longmore, Sue; Smithyman, Steve; Crawley, Matt (2010). Inland Plants of the Bellarine Peninsula. Bellarine Catchment Network.
"Acacia implexa Hickory Wattle". Wattle - genus Acacia. Australian National Botanical Gardens. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
"Acacia implexa Hickory Wattle, Lightwood". Specialty Trees. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
"Acacia implexa Hickory Wattle,Lightwood". Plant Selector. Botanic Gardens of South Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
"Acacia implexa Lightwood" (PDF). Species Notes. Florabank. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
"Acacia implexa Benth". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
Ngunnawal Elders (2014) 'Ngunnawal Plant Use.' ACT Government: Canberra
"D'harawal calendar". Indigenous Weather Knowledge. Bureau of Meteorology. 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2022.

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