Cooba

Description

Common names

Cooba, Native Willow, Willow, Broughton, Doolan, Willow Wattle, Bakka, Black Sally Wattle, Bremgu, Broughton Wattle, Broughton Willow, Coobah, Coobar, Cooby, Cuba, Goobang, Koobah, Motherumba, Murray Willow, Native Wattle, River Cooba, Sally, Sally Wattle, Swamp Wattle, Umung, Willow Acacia, Woomal.

Scientific names

Acacia salicina.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

From Latin salicis, referring to pendulous, willow-like habit.

Rainfall

300mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

3-10m.

Presence in Australia

Becomes more common west of Olympic Highway.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, SA, NT, WA.

Habitat

Dry sclerophyll forest, shrubland and woodland in semi-arid regions. Mostly creek banks, and flat alluvial plains and floodplains.

Habit

Erect or spreading shrub or tree, 3-10m high. Brownish, finely fissured bark and deep-green foliage on willow-like drooping branches. Often in dense clumps.

Site preference

Heavy clay soils to sands. May withstand some inundation. Full sun. Salt tolerant. Drought resistant. Resents frost when young.

Characteristics

Long-lived. Wind-firm. "Leaves" contain large amounts of tannin.

Flowering

Pale yellow to almost white, usually Feb-Jun.

Seed collection

Dec-Jan. Good crops every few years.

Propagation

From seed (±8 viable seeds per gram).

Regeneration

Often seeds, and suckers freely from the roots. Highly palatable to stock, hence fencing recommended for regeneration. Encourage suckering by root ripping or disturbance.

Shade and shelter

Excellent low to medium-level cover in windbreaks, due to bushiness and suckering.

Land protection

Valuable in maintaining riverbank stability and for general erosion control, where its suckering is an advantage. Legume, improves soil fertility through "fixing" nitrogen.

Fuel

Good.

Timber

Close-grained, tough, heavy, dark-brown and attractively marked. Used in furniture joinery and craft, and said to rival Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) timber. Takes a high polish. Used for making bullock yokes and cart shafts in pioneering days.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Native birds and insects eat seed appendages.

Koori

Tannin-rich bark used to poison fish. "Leaves" reputedly burnt and ash smoked to produce a narcotizing effect. Seeds eaten in some areas.

Ornamental

Useful attractive species for gardens and parks, particularly in dry areas. Responds to water during dry periods.

Other

Excellent drought fodder for sheep and cattle.