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Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla)

Arrernte name: Arlketyerre
Arrernte seeds: Merne ntange arlketyerre

Often found as a straggly looking shrub that can grown to about 2-3 metres high, the common name for this shrub is 'Dead Finnish'. There is a number of reasons for this name, being that 'when the cows start eating the Dead Finish bush, everything else has died' or 'in a bad drought, this is the last bush to die'. The Aboriginal name for the plant, from the Warlpiri language is 'Kurara'.

This wattle grows in a variety of soils and conditions from dry sandy regions, dry stony hillsides and desert regions of Australia.

Each golden globular flower grows on its own stalk, singularly or in clusters of 2-5 from the bases of four-sided needle-like leaf clusters. The leaves are spiny with sharp points. The seed pods are curved, narrow and twisted with constrictions between the seeds.

The Aborigines use the plant in a number of 'bush medicine' applications. The Arrernte people use the sharp spiky leaves to treat warts. The bark from roots is also steeped in water to make an antiseptic solution for treating sores. They also gather the seeds grinding them for cakes, although they are also known to eat the seeds raw.

Dead Finish

Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) © Colin Leel, September 2007

Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) © Colin Leel, September 2007

Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) © Colin Leel, September 2007
The seed pods are curved, narrow and twisted with constrictions between the seeds.

Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) © Colin Leel, September 2007
The seed pods are curved, narrow and twisted with constrictions between the seeds.

Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) © Colin Leel, September 2007

Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) © Colin Leel, September 2007

© Colin Leel
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