Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Mulga is Australia’s most common tree, so you will definitely see them in the park.

Mulga trees are 5 to 12 metres high with a rounded shape and a grey-green colour. They produce tiny yellow flowers that are packed together to form spikes.

They are perfectly adapted to the Australian desert, with needle-like leaves (called phyllodes) that point upwards to catch the morning and evening light while avoiding the hot midday sun. During dry periods, mulgas drop most of their leaves on the ground to produce an extra layer of mulch.

There are several species of mulga growing in the park, but the most common is Acacia aneura.


Anangu roast and grind mulga seeds into an edible paste similar to peanut butter. They also eat the gum of the tree and its ‘apples’, which are actually galls caused by wasp larvae in the branch. The mulga’s roots are home to another important bush food – maku, or witchetty grubs.

The hard wood of the mulga tree is used to make tools such as boomerangs and digging sticks.

Scientific name

Acacia aneura

Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara name