Where curara is grazed, it has no indicator value because it can survive heavy grazing. Changes to the density or numbers of this plant in pasture do not indicate pasture condition or trend on their own, but the numbers and density of curara plants relative to other plants, such as bluebushes, can indicate condition and trend.
Constant heavy utilisation of curara indicates that grazing pressure is too heavy.
Curara is moderately palatable and a valued protein source in most habitats. All classes of livestock use the foliage. Silver-green curara plants on hills and skeletal soils are relatively unpalatable and are unlikely to be grazed.
Various soils and habitats.
Curara is a shrub or small tree that may reach a height of about 4m. The hairless phyllodes have distinctive sharp points at their tips and are distributed in clusters along the grey-barked outer and younger branches.
Phyllodes are slender and needle-like, up to 3cm long and 1–1.5mm wide. Young phyllodes are pliable and soft, hardening quickly with maturity. The globular flowers are varying shades of yellow, occasionally with a touch of orange, borne on stalks up to 3cm long.
The pods are always twisted, up to 8cm long and 4–7mm wide with a constriction between each seed. As the pods mature and dry, they split open along their length, exposing seeds with an encircling orange-yellow aril.