Acacia benthamii Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 11 (1844)
Shrub 1 m high. New shoots minutely woolly. Branchlets ribbed, glabrous, occasionally sparsely minutely woolly. Stipules caducous but present and obvious on new shoots, partially or wholly joined, 1.5–2 mm long. Phyllodes linear, attenuate at both ends, often inequilateral, straight to curved, 2–4.5 cm long, 2–4 mm wide, acute, pungent, thinly coriaceous, glabrous, with 2 or 3 distant main nerves per face, the few intervening parallel secondary nerves obscure and infrequently anastomosing; pulvinus discernible but not well developed, 0.2–0.5 mm long, yellow, subsmooth to finely wrinkled. Peduncles 1 or 2 per axil, 2.5–5.5 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, 5 mm diam., 27–35-flowered, golden; bracteoles spathulate, sharply inflexed. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods not seen.
Restricted to the Kings Park and Subiaco areas of Perth, Wanneroo and near Yanchep, W.A. Grows typically on limestone breakaways.
A poorly known species related to A. sessilis by its minutely woolly new shoots, united, caducous stipules, axillary peduncles and free sepals; A. sessilis is most readily recognised by its shorter, normally terete to subterete phyllodes and mostly sessile, 18–24-flowered heads. Acacia benthamii closely resembles narrow phyllode forms of A. cochlearis ; indeed, G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 2: 324 (1864), considered it to be only a ‘slight variety’ of A. cochlearis to which he referred the Preiss paralectotype. Acacia cochlearis is most reliably distinguished from A. benthamii by its free stipules, epulvinate phyllodes, and straight (not crisped) hairs on its new shoots and often also the branchlets. The status of A. benthamii will need to be reassessed when pods come to hand.
Type of accepted name
Swan R., J.Drummond 284 ; lecto: BM (sheet labelled herb. Shuttleworth), fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 402 (1994); isolecto: G; ?isolecto: K, OXF, W (specimens numbered ‘289’ apparently in error); interior of south-west W.A., Nov. 1840, L.Preiss 949; paralecto: LD.
W.A.: Kings Park, H.Demarz 6149 (PERTH); East Wanneroo, J.Havel 120 (PERTH).