Coastal Myall is September's plant of the month.
Coast Myall or Coastal Wattle
Acacia binervia is found in central New South Wales from the Hunter Region south, and to Bungonia in the southwest, and continuing south into Victoria. There are approximately 1,350 species of wattle globally, of which close to 1,000 are native to Australia.
It grows in dry sclerophyll forest or heath on rocky slopes, often near streams. It is common in Sydney along the banks of the Georges River on alluvial sands. It also grows in places like the rocky ocean-side hills at Nelson Bay.
This is a shrub or spreading tree from 2 to 16 m high. The bark is dark brown to grey in colour. The leaves or flattened leaf stalks (phyllodes) are elliptic to sickle-shaped (falcate) 15cm long and about 2cm wide; and are a striking blue-grey colour. The leaf stalk has probably evolved as a means of conserving moisture in dry areas. It is more efficient in this regard than the feathery, pinnate leaf usually found on Acacias from wetter areas. Phyllodes are generally thicker, joining the stems firmly, with edges facing the sun.
The cylindrical pale to bright yellow spikes of flowers are very showy and appear in spring from August to October, followed by long seed pods.
It regenerates readily from bushfire through the soil seedbank and It is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.
Acacia – from Greek Akakia – which refers to an Ancient Greek preparation made from one of the many species; the name of which derives from akis, meaning “thorn” – referring to the thorns of species in Africa.
binervia – refers to the phyllodes having 2, or usually 3-5, prominent longitudinal veins.
The flowers are useful to bees in the honey industry.
Acacia binervia is a seasonal indicator species for Dharrawal people. Its flowering in spring and early summer warns that fish, such as mullet and salmon, will be running in the estuaries. Swamp myalls also host the grubs of various beetles and moths, which can be extracted using an axe and then eaten, cooked or raw.
The sweet gum of this species was eaten by Aboriginal people, however it can be unpalatable when offset by high amounts of the plant’s tannin. Children in particular treat it as bush chewing gum. It can be made into a drink served as remedy to coughs, colds and chest infections. Gum could also be applied directly to cuts and abrasions as an antiseptic preparation, either in a solid or powdered form.
Where find Coast Myall in Centennial Parklands?
Areas along the Guriwal Trail.