Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) is often found as a straggly looking shrub that can grown to about 2-3 metres high. The common name for this shrub is ‘Dead Finish’. 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’. The Arrernte name is ‘Arlketyerre’.
This wattle grows in a variety of soils and conditions from dry sandy regions, dry stony hillsides and desert regions of Australia, stretching from the west coast through Central Australia (southern Northern Territory and South Australia), into outback New South Wales and outback Queensland.
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, Curara, Kurara, Prickly wattle.
Arrernte name: Arlketyerre
Arrernte seeds: Merne ntange arlketyerre
Warlpiri name: Kurara
Acacia — comes from the Greek ‘akakia’, meaning sharp point.
tetragonophylla — comes from the Greek, tetra meaning four, gonia meaning an angle, phullo, phullon meaning leaf / leaflet.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Eudicots
- Clade: Rosids
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Clade: Mimosoideae
- Genus: Acacia
- Species: Acacia tetragonophylla
FloraFlora Index Acacia Annual Yellowtop Apium prostratum subsp. prostratum var filiforme Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Australian Bluebell Australian Gossypium Banksia Batswing Coral Tree Billy Buttons Birdsville Indigo Blue Pincushion Bush Banana Callistemon Calothamnus quadrifidus Cape Honeysuckle Common Heath Cassia fistula (Golden Shower) Cattle Bush Crotalaria Daviesia oppositifolia (Rattle-pea) Desert Oaks Drumsticks Eremophila Eucalyptus False Shaggy Mane Ficus Flannel Cudweed (Actinobole uliginosum) Georges Indigo Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting Goodenia Gossypium Grass and Grasses Grass Trees Grevillea Grey Germander Hakea Kapok Bush (Aerva javanica) Lambertia sp MacDonnell Ranges Cycad Maireana scleroptera Mexican Poppy Minnie Daisy Mistletoe Family Native Apricot Nardoo Nicotiana megalosiphon subspecies sessilifolia Nuytsia floribunda Orange Spade Flower Orchidaceae Parakeelyas (Calandrinia) Pebble Bush (Stylobasium spathulatum) Perennial Yellow Top Pink Everlasting Pink Rock Wort Poached Egg Daisy Portulaca Proteaceae Ptilotus Quandong Resurrection Fern Rosy Dock Ruby Saltbush Santalum Solanum Spike Centaury Spinifex Storkbill (Erodum cygnorum) Striped Mint Bush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tall Saltbush Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Tribulus eichlerianus Upside-down Plant Urodon dasyphylla Variable Daisy Waratah (Telopea) Wertabona Daisy White Cedar (Melia azedarach) White Indigo White Paper Daisy Wild Passionfruit Wild Stock Woolly-Headed Burr Daisy Woolly Bush Yellow-keeled Swainsona