General Plant Info
Acacia peuce, also know as "Waddywood" or "Birdsville Wattle", is one of the rarest and most striking trees of the Australian arid zone, with long pendulous branchlets, giving mature trees a weeping, she-oak like appearance.
One key to the trees survival is their small spiky needle-like leaves, which ensures little moisture is lost through the reduces surface area
A slender tree growing up to 18 m high, it is estimated it can live for up to 500 years. It flowers and fruits any time there is rain.
The flowers of Waddy Wood are yellow and develop into large, flat, papery pods. The bark is grey-brown and fibrous, and the timber is very dense with dark red heart-wood.
Acacia peuce is known only from a few localities on the SW, SE and NE margins of the Simpson Desert. It occurs as several small disjunct populations, namely, about 60 km N of Andado Stn, N.T., and in Qld from 10 km and 60 km N of Birdsville and about 400 km further N, from Marion Downs Stn to near Boulia. The southern populations occur on fixed shallow sand aprons over clay and gibber slopes associated with denuded mesas. In the Boulia area it is associated with alluvium and palaeochannels of the Hamilton and Georgina Rivers.
The NT population is the smallest of the three, with an extent of occurrence of c. 337 km2 (latitudinal range 22 km and longitudinal range 15 km). The area of occupancy is 3.3 km2 -
It has been declared in NT as Endangered
Glabrous tree to c. 15 m high, usually with short horizontal branches and pendulous branchlets and phyllodes; habit often conifer-like or sheoak-like. Wood extremely hard.
Phyllodes sometimes continuous with branchlet but normally indistinctly articulate, rigid on young plants, quadrangular with a yellowish nerve at apex of each angle, 8–12 cm long, sometimes to 40 cm, c. 1 mm wide, subulate, the slender, sharp points often broken off, smooth; pulvinus obscure.
Inflorescences simple, seemingly 1 per axil; peduncles 12–15 mm long; heads globular, sparse. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united near base.
Pods oblong to narrowly oblong, to 20 cm long, 3–5 cm wide, firmly chartaceous, transversely reticulate, pruinose.
Seeds transverse, elliptic to almost circular, flat, 6–14 mm long, 4–8.5 mm wide, dull, dark brown-black, exarillate; funicle filiform, 7–10 mm long.
Features strongly in Aboriginal mythology, and the hard, heavy wood is used for the production of clubs
Though Waddy Wood trees may live to be 500 years old, they are extremely slow growing, and new plants are recruited to the population only after extended periods of heavy rainfall.