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A slender, small tree, sometimes dense and rounded but generally with a light canopy. The light green phyllodes; flattened leaf-like stems which replace the true leaves as the main photosynthetic structure, are narrow and sickle-shaped (this species is frequently misidentified as a Eucalyptus because of this feature). Of the other indigenous wattles around Melbourne it is easily confused with Blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon. The Lightwood, is similar in almost all respects except that the phyllodes are usually darker and not sickle-shaped. A reliable distinction between the two is that Blackwood flowers in early spring whereas Lightwood flowers in December-February. Both species produce clumps of twisted pods but in the Blackwood these are produced in the months immediately after flowering, releasing the seeds, each half-wrapped in a long, twisted orange ribbon-like stalk (the 'aril'). In Lightwood, the fertilised flowers go into a curious state of suspended development, only maturing the following season to release the seeds in about December, just ahead of flowering. The pods of lightwood are extravagantly twisted and the shiny black seeds lack the colourful stalk (aril) of the Blackwood seeds.
Like many Acacia species, Acacia implexa provides a bonanza of invertebrate life. Inspect the ground below a flowering tree in summer and you may notice tiny fluttering blue butterflies, Nacaduba biocellata, the Double spotted Line-blue. The caterpillars of this species feed on the buds of this tree.
In the Volcanic Plains Bioregion, this species is characteristic of the Escarpment Shrubland Ecological Vegetation Class, but can occasionally be found on Stony Knoll Shrublands, Volcanic Plains Grassland and Streambank Shrubland.
This is a very useful species in wildlife landscapes. It's rapid growth, relatively long-lived (for an Acacia) and narrow form make it useful in amenity plantings and landscaping. It will attain several metres within just a few years, rapidly developing a sturdy trunk with rough, curling bark that gives it an mature look.
Pour boiling water over the seed and allow it to cool. Any seed that floats is probably empty, and doesn't have a seed inside it.
Sow the swollen seed in an open potting media and water sparingly. Seed will germinate in 10-14 days time.