Little Bogan River, NSW

Nongra Lake, NT



Natural populations

This species has an extensive distribution across eastern Australia and is represented in all mainland states [1,2]. This includes inland Queensland, the western half of New South Wales, the far northwestern fringe of Victoria and parts of northeastern and southeastern South Australia. There are tropical occurrences near the Western Australian-Northern Territory border and a small, highly disjunct population in the Pilbara region near Wittenoom. Acacia stenophylla can be a tree up to 15 tall tree or a shrub up to 5 m tall, and has a propensity to form root suckers. It grows along the banks of rivers and creeks and sometimes on adjacent floodplains. Soils are usually alkaline, often saline, alluvial clays [1,2,3].

Flowering and seeds

Flowering in this species occurs mainly during winter, depending on seasonal conditions and pods mature during September to May [1]. Predation by sap sucking insects on maturing pods of this species often reduces seed viability. There are about 8 viable seeds per gram [4]. Nicking or boiling the seeds in water for a minute at 100°C is required to induce germination. The seeds start to germinate in about 3 days if grown at 25-30°C [4].

Cultivation and uses

Acacia stenophylla is a moderate to fast growing, long-lived, nitrogen-fixing tree. It is considered extremely salt tolerant and grows on sites that are often subject to waterlogging [5,6]. While adapted to alkaline, clayey soils substantial provenance variation has been noted [5,6]. Acacia stenophylla can be used as a shelterbelt and windbreak species and its wood has potential for use as high value furniture timber and as a source of posts and fuelwood [2,6,7].

Key descriptors:
Temperate provenances
Climate parameters
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 15-24 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 28-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 1-5 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)

Tropical provenances

Climate parameters
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer
Mean annual temperature: 21-30 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 35-38 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 4-10 °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)

Descriptors in common:
Climate parameters

Annual rainfall: 125-600 mm
Altitude: 5-625 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage or regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, cracking clays, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage:  poorly to imperfectly drained or seasonally waterlogged
Salinity: highly saline or slightly to moderately saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: alkalinity
Extremes in texture: cracking clay, clayey or sand
Salinity: extremely high (> 16 dS m-1), high (9-16 dS m-1), moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: greater than 2 months or up to two months
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen, shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall, tree 10-20 m tall, tree 5-10 m tall or usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: fast or moderate
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding
Root system: moderate to deep, fixes nitrogen via root symbiot or forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites
Windbreak potential: excellent (known or has good attributes)
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Potential farm use: good for fence posts, shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture, seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Traditional Aboriginal uses: firewood, implements/artefacts, seeds/fruits eaten, weapons
Wildlife value: a critical food source for at least one species
Wood products: craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, posts (including fencing), speciality timber for quality furniture, speciality wood valued for musical instruments or termite resistant,
wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: variable - some plants coppice back
Growth habit: mod. to strong propensity to root sucker
Foliage: low to moderate susceptibility to browsing
Weediness: high potential based on its biology


[1] 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.

[2] 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:]

[3] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of Western New South Wales, Inkata Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria .

[4] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at  Accessed March 2008]

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

[6] 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.

[7] Boxshall B, Jenkyn T (2001) Eumong- River Cooba, Acacia stenophylla, Farm Forestry Species Profile for North Central Victoria, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria (DPI).

Internet links

ABRS Species Bank:

Charles Sturt University's Virtual Herbarium:

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales:

Victorian Department of Primary Industry: Search site as several documents may relate to this species.

CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country:

World Wide Wattle: