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Acacia balsamea

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Acacia balsamea R.S.Cowan & Maslin, Nuytsia 12: 417 (1999)

Balsam Wattle

Rounded or obconic shrub 1–2.5 m high. Branchlets yellow, resin-ribbed at extremities, sericeous between the ribs, glabrescent. Phyllodes erect, terete, occasionally flat and linear, straight to shallowly curved or sometimes shallowly sinuous, 8–13 cm long, 1–1.2 mm diam. (terete), to 3 mm wide when flat, curved to subuncinate at apex, not rigid, drying khaki green, aromatic (smelling of Friars Balsam, especially when crushed), with c. 16 close, slightly raised, resinous nerves, sparsely appressed-hairy between nerves (superficially appearing glabrous). Inflorescences simple, 1 or 2 per axil; peduncles 5–10 mm long, glabrous or sericeous; heads subglobular to obloid, 21-flowered. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods (submature) pendulous, moniliform, straight to shallowly curved, to 12 cm long, 3–4 mm diam., coriaceous to sub-woody, strongly longitudinally nerved, glabrous, resinous. Seeds (submature) longitudinal, elliptic-linear, 5 mm long, dull, brown; aril terminal.

Discontinuous, occurring in the Paterson Ra. and Leinster areas, in the Gibson Desert at Mt William Lambert and near Clutterbuck Hills, W.A. Grows on rocky (usually granite) hills in tall open shrubland, often with Acacia aneura .

One collection ( S.D.Hopper 2833 ) has flat phyllodes but otherwise appears to agree with the apparently more normal terete phyllode forms of the species.

A poorly collected species of the arid interior of W.A., recognisable at once in the field by the resinous odour (resembling Balsam Fir) of its phyllodes . Its precise affinities are unknown; however, it has the general appearance of A. aneura but its subglobular to obloid flower-heads and strongly nerved, moniliform pods serve to readily distinguish it.

Type of accepted name

Gibson Desert, Mt William Lambert, E from Wiluna on ‘Gunbarrel Hwy’, W.A., 8 Sept. 1984, B.R.Maslin 5646 ; holo: PERTH; iso: CANB, K.

Representative collections

W.A.: Paterson Ra. area, 1979, E.M.Goble-Garratt s.n. (MEL, PERTH); Gibson Desert, northeastern end of Clutterbuck Hills, S.D.Hopper 2833 (PERTH); Gibson Desert, 40 km SSE of eastern end of Clutterbuck Hills, S.D.Hopper 2898 (PERTH).

(RSC & BRM)

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