Acacia mangium (brown salwood)
Acacia mangium at Habit Mission Beach, QLD (Photo: Maurice Mcdonald)
brown salwood (Australian standard trade name), mangium, Sabah salwood, black wattle, hickory wattle (Australia); tongke hutan, manggee hutan (Indonesia); biar (Papua New Guinea)
Not listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Widely distributed and reproduces easily. Not considered to be threatened.
In Australia it grows in coastal tropical lowlands on the margins of rainforest, where it occurs in the foothills of coastal ranges over metamorphic, granite and acid volcanic formations, and also on sandy or loamy alluvium of the coastal plain.
Dust from pods pounded during seed extraction causes a respiratory reaction in some people.
About this species
Acacia mangium is a major plantation species in the humid tropical lowlands of Asia. Its success is due to its extremely vigorous growth rate, tolerance of highly acidic, low nutrient soils, ability to grow reasonably well where competition is severe (for example Imperata grasslands), relative freedom from disease, wood properties that make it suitable for a wide range of uses, and ease of establishment in cultivation. Plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia are the resource base for a large pulp and paper industry. Other uses included fuelwood, timber for building and furniture and particle board.
Acacia section Juliflorae is a group of about 250 species, mostly confined to Australia. Acacia mangium is one of a relatively small tropical sub-group of these species, which in recent years have been developed as plants of major economic importance. Other important species in this group are A. auriculiformis, A. auriculiformis x mangium and A. crassicarpa.