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Acacia aspera

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Acacia aspera Lindl., in T.L.Mitchell, Three Exped. Australia 2: 138 (1838)

Rough Wattle

Spreading, viscid shrub 0.5–2 m high. Branchlets ribbed, asperulous, hirsutellous to pubescent with at least some hairs gland-tipped. Stipules normally 1–2 mm long. Phyllodes oblong-linear to narrowly oblong-elliptic, usually 1–3 cm long, 2–4 ( - 7) mm wide, coriaceous, asperulous, with indumentum as on branchlets except sparser; midrib prominent. Inflorescences simple, 1 or 2 per axil; peduncles usually 2–10 mm long, usually stout, some hairs of indumentum normally gland-tipped; basal bract persistent; heads globular, usually 6–9 mm diam., 30–50-flowered and pale yellow to golden; buds usually burr-like in appearance due to acuminate, exserted, eglandular bracteoles. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods narrowly oblong to linear, rounded over seeds, curved, 2–6 cm long, 3–5 mm wide, firmly chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, densely hirsute-hirsutellous with some or all hairs gland-tipped. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 4–5 mm long, shiny, dark brown; aril terminal.

Discontinuous in south-eastern Australia, occurring from The Grampians to Warby Ra., Vic., northern A.C.T. and adjacent N.S.W., also Peak Hill S to the Ardlethan - Temora area, and at Sutton Forest, N.S.W. Normally grows on ranges, in shallow stony or gravelly soil, in Eucalyptus open forest or mallee communities.

A collection from Herveys Ra., N.S.W. ( C.H.Pratten s.n. , NSW178724), with ±linear phyllodes 3–4.5 cm long and 2–3 mm wide corresponds to the types of A. erythrocephala . This locality is at the northern extremity of the species range; ‘typical’ A. aspera also occurs in the Herveys Ra. (see NSW 78949 below).

Putative hybrids between A. aspera and possibly A. montana are noted by J.H.Willis, Victorian Naturalist 73: 157 (1957) and A.B.Court, in J.H.Willis, Handb. Pl. Victoria 2: 216 (1973). These plants occur in the Bendigo Whipstick and resemble A. montana in phyllode characters but possess bracteoles and stipules very similar to those of A. aspera (e.g. D.J.Paton 3 , MEL).

The pods of A. glandulicarpa also have gland-tipped hairs, but it has asymmetrically ovate to ovate-elliptic, 2-nerved phyllodes, usually fewer flowers per head and smaller, obliquely oriented seeds.

Type of accepted name

Interior of New Holland [near Swan Hill, Vic.], 20 June 1836, T.L.Mitchell s.n .; holo: CGE; iso: K, P.


Acacia strigosa Lindl., op. cit . 184, nom. illeg. , non Link (1822); A. densifolia Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 360 (1842); A. aspera var. densifolia (Benth.) Benth., Fl. Austral . 2: 347 (1864). Type: Interior of New Holland [Mt Zero, near the Wimmera R., Vic.], 20 July 1836, T.L.Mitchell s.n. and 260 ; syn: CGE, K.

Acacia erythrocephala A.Cunn. ex Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 362 (1842). Type: Lachlan R., N.S.W., Apr. 1817, A.Cunningham 425 ; syn: K; banks of the Lachlan [R.], N.S.W., A.Cunningham s.n .; syn: K.


F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 4 (1887); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 183 & 310 (1981); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 353 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 115, fig. 116, pl. 116 (1992).

Representative collections

N.S.W.: Jindalee, Sutton Forest, W. de Beuzeville (NSW252801); Herveys Ra. (sphalm. ‘Barker Ra.’), between Baldy and Peak Hill, E.Gordon (NSW78949). A.C.T.: Ginninderra, 26 Aug. 1968, C.Burgess (CANB). Vic.: Bendigo Whipstick, c. 12 km N of Bendigo, B.R.Maslin 5849 (PERTH); between Benalla and Glenrowan, 19 km SW of Wangarratta, N.Hall H79/98 (NSW, PERTH).

Acacia aspera Lindl. (Brisbane Ra. variant)

This variant is apparently confined to northern Brisbane Ranges (the Mt Wallace - Bacchus Marsh areas), with an outlying occurrence at just S of Beaufort, Vic. It differs most obviously from typical A. aspera in the following ways: peduncles more slender and relatively longer (7–15 mm), bracteoles gland-tipped, shorter and not exceeding the buds immediately prior to anthesis, heads smaller, generally fewer-flowered (c. 5 mm diam. and (15–) 24–35-flowered) and cream to pale lemon yellow and generally shorter phyllodes (6–10 (–26) mm long). (Vic.: 4.5 km S of Beaufort, A.C.Beauglehole 61680 (MEL); Brisbane Ranges National Park, J.R.Grimes 3377 (BH, MEL, NY); 17.1 km SW of Bacchus Marsh, P.C.Jobson 3597 (BRI, MEL); between Bacchus Marsh and Brisbane Range, B.R.Maslin 3498 (MEL, PERTH))


The Fl. Australia treatment has been modified slightly here in WATTLE to provide more information on the Brisbane Range variant of A. aspera .

WATTLE Acacias of Australia CD-ROM graphic

The information presented here originally appeared on the WATTLE CD-ROM which was jointly published by the Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Perth; it was produced by CSIRO Publishing from where it is available for purchase. The WATTLE custodians are thanked for allowing us to post this information here.


Page last updated: Tuesday 11 September 2018