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Perry Lakes, WA 

Muntadgin Rock, WA

Near Collie, WA

Niokia, WA  

Natural populations

Acacia saligna is a widespread species in the south west of Western Australia which comprises a number of subspecies [1,2,3]. The most widely dispersed subspecies extends across the Avon Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, while two others have their main distributions in the Jarrah forests of the southwest (see map). Subsp. saligna occurs on the Swan Coastal Plain in the Perth region also occurs on the sand plains near Esperance. A fifth subspecies has a restricted occurrence near Badgingara north of Perth. The habit of these subspecies can be quite variable ranging from being low shrubs less than 1 m tall or large shrubs 2-4 m tall or small trees up to 8 m tall. All variants are usually restricted to depositional sites throughout their natural range [2].

Flowering and seeds

Flowering in these taxa species usually occurs during September to October [1,2,3,4]. Pods mature about two months later and are present mainly during December to January [3,4]. There are about 43 viable seeds per gram [4]. Nicking or boiling the seeds in water for a minute at 100°C is required to induce germination. Seeds germinate in about 5 days if grown at 15°C [4].

Cultivation and uses

Under cultivation, A. saligna is a hardy, highly adaptable, fast growing, nitrogen-fixing sgrub or small tree. It is a relatively short-lived species that tolerates a wide range of soils (acid and alkaline) and is moderately salt tolerant [6]. Despite a preference for natural populations to grow on water-gaining sites, it has been successfully cultivated on wide range of recharge sites in areas that receive as low as 200 mm annual rainfall [5]. It has been used to remediate degraded sites, including excessively sandy areas and mine sites [5]. The foliage has been used as a source of stock fodder, its wood is suitable for composite wood products and its seeds have potential as a source of food [2,5,7,8]. The bark yields about 30% tannin. The growth performance of his species is currently being assessed by the FloraSearch project [7]. A disadvantage of this species is that it has become a weed in numerous areas where it has been grown [2,9].

Key descriptors:

Subsp. lindleyi
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 250-650 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 15-21 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 28-39 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 5-9 °C
Frosts per year: up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 100-350 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, duplex texture contrast soils, light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) or neutral (6.5-7.5)
Drainage: well-drained
Salinity: highly saline, slightly to moderately saline, or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Salinity: high (9-16 dS m-1), moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils or drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall, shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall or tree 5-10 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: nil or negligible
Root system: fixes nitrogen via root symbiot, forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate to high
Uses
Potential farm use good ornamental attributes or shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products pollen has value for apiculture, gums, resins, seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Urban use good as an ornamental or amenity plant or suitable as a screen or hedge
Wood products: high quality fuelwood or industrial charcoal, wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: killed by severe fires (seeder)
Foliage: highly susceptible to browsing by animals (stock, rabbits, roos)
Growth habit: shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Weediness: listed at least once as a declared weed species or high potential based on its biology

Subsp. 'pruinescens' ms
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 350-1200 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 15-18 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 26-30 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 4-9 °C
Frosts per year: up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 80-420 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be drought sensitive or known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay) or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) or neutral (6.5-7.5)
Drainage: well-drained or poorly to imperfectly drained
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils 
Extremes in pH: acidity
Salinity: moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding
Root system: fixes nitrogen via root symbiot, forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Carbon sequestration potential: high
Uses
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes, shelterbelt or shade for stock, foliage has stock fodder potential
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture, gums, resins, seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wood products: high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: killed by severe fires (seeder)
Growth habit: shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Susceptibility to disease or predation: foliage highly susceptible to insect predation or pathogenic leaf diseases
Foliage: low to moderate susceptibility to browsing
Weediness: listed at least once as a declared weed species or high potential based on its biology

Subsp. saligna

Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 500-900 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 15-21 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 26-33 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 7-10 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 0-90 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be drought sensitive or known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Drainage: well-drained
Salinity: highly saline, slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: alkalinity
Extremes in texture: sand
Salinity: moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils or drainage may be sluggish at times2
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall or shrub or tree 5-10 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding
Root system: fixes nitrogen via root symbiot, forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Carbon sequestration potential: high
Uses
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes, shelterbelt or shade for stock or foliage has stock fodder potential
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture, high tannin content in bark, gums, resins, seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant, suitable as a screen or hedge
Wood products: high quality fuelwood or industrial charcoal, wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: killed by severe fires (seeder)
Growth habit: shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Susceptibility to disease or predation: foliage highly susceptible to insect predation or pathogenic leaf diseases
Foliage: low to moderate susceptibility to browsing
Weediness: listed at least once as a declared weed species or high potential based on its biology

Subsp. 'stolonifera' ms
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 800-1200 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: winter
Mean annual temperature: 15-18 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 27-30 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 6-8 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 5-300 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, light to medium clay (35-50% clay) or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) or 2. neutral (6.5-7.5)
Drainage: well-drained
Salinity: non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils or drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall or shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall, often multi-stemmed from or near ground level
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: nil or negligible
Root system: fixes nitrogen via root symbiot, forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Uses
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes, shelterbelt or shade for stock or foliage has stock fodder potential
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture or gums, resins
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant or suitable as a screen or hedge
Wood products: high quality fuelwood or industrial charcoal, wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: variable - some plants coppice back or killed by severe fires (seeder)
Growth habit: mod. to strong propensity to root sucker or shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Foliage: low to moderate susceptibility to browsing
Weediness: listed at least once as a declared weed species or high potential based on its biology

Subsp. 'tenella' ms
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 450-550 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: winter
Mean annual temperature: 18-21 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 35-37 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 8-10 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 250-350 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) or neutral (6.5-7.5)
Salinity: non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in texture: sand
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: nil or negligible
Root system: fixes nitrogen via root symbiot
Carbon sequestration potential: low
Uses
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes or foliage has stock fodder potential (?)
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: killed by severe fires (seeder)
Foliage: low to moderate susceptibility to browsing
Weediness: high potential based on its biology

References

[1] McDonald MW, Maslin BR (in ed.) A taxonomic revision of Acacia saligna (Labill.) H. Wendl. (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae).

[2] Maslin BR, McDonald MW (2004) AcaciaSearch-evaluation of Acacia as a woody crop option for southern Australia. Rural Industries Research Development Corporation Publication No. 03/017, Canberra.

[3] Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnson RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD (2006) Forest Trees of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

[4] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at http://www.ensisjv.com/Portals/0/atsc-opmanualcomplete.pdf  Accessed March 2008]

[5] Doran JC, Turnbull JW (eds.) (1997) Australian Trees and Shrubs: species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra [ACIAR books online: http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/MN024 Accessed Feb. 2008]

[6] Marcar NE, Crawford DF (2004) Trees for Saline Landscapes. RIRDC Publication Number 03/108, Canberra.

[7] Hobbs TJ, Bennell M, Huxtable D, Bartle J, Neumann C, George N, O'Sullivan W (2006) 'FloraSearch Agroforestry Species and Regional Industries: Low rainfall farm forestry options for southern Australia.' A report for the Joint Venture Agroforestry Program and CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity. RIRDC Publication No 06/

[8] Maslin BR, Thomson LAJ, McDonald MW, Hamilton-Brown S. (1998) Edible Wattle Seeds of Southern Australia. A review of species for use in semi-arid regions. (CSIRO-CALM: Canberra).

[9] Tame T (1992) Acacias of New South Wales. Kangaroo Press, Sydney.

Internet links

ABRS Species Bank: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/species-bank/sbank-treatment.pl?id=2586

eFloraSA Electronic Flora of South Australia: http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/texhtml.cgi?form=speciesfacts&family=&genus=Acacia&species=saligna&iname=&submit=Search

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Acacia~saligna

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_saligna

World Wide Wattle: http://www.worldwidewattle.com/infogallery/utilisation/acaciasearch/pdf/saligna.pdf

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