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Acacia cambagei

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Acacia cambagei R.T.Baker, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 25: 661; pl. 42 (1901)

Gidgee , Gidyea , Gidya , Gidgea , Stinking Wattle

Malodorous, spreading tree 4–15 m high; crown moderately dense. Bark flaky, dark grey. Branchlets with a grey-white, often flaking, meally bloom, glabrous or appressed-puberulous. Phyllodes narrowly elliptic to linear-elliptic, narrowed at both ends, straight or recurved, 4–14 cm long, 3–15 mm wide, coriaceous, with surface features as on branchlets, 1–3 nerves more evident than the numerous closely parallel, indistinct intervening ones. Inflorescences 4–10 (–20)-headed racemes; raceme axes 2–9 (–30) mm long, appressed-puberulous; peduncles 4–10 mm long, sparsely appressed-puberulous; heads globular, 3–5 mm diam., 12–25-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free to 1/2-united; petals glabrous to appressed-puberulous. Pods narrowly oblong, straight, flat, to 13 cm long, 8–12 mm wide, chartaceous, coarsely reticulate, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, broadly elliptic to oblong, flattened, 5–9 mm long, soft, peripherally crested, dull, dark brown; funicle slightly arillate.

Widespread in arid and semi-arid eastern Australia, extending from central N.T. and north-eastern S.A. into central Qld and north-western N.S.W. Tolerates a wide range of soils but occurs most commonly in dark cracking clay or loam, as scattered individuals or in dense, almost pure stands.

The phyllodes of young plants lack the characteristic mealy bloom and are rather conspicuously hairy.

Related to and perhaps only subspecifically distinct from A. georginae ; the two may be difficult to distinguish where their geographic ranges meet, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 200 (1978). The main morphological differences are that A. georginae has broader, curved to openly once-coiled pods, slightly larger seeds and generally more hairy petals. An important biochemical difference is that the foliage of A. georginae is highly toxic to livestock, whereas that of A. cambagei is used commonly as forage in some regions under drought conditions. The foetid odour of this species and A. georginae occurs also in A. pachycarpa . Also related to A. harpophylla .

The taxon described by B.R.Maslin (1981) in Fl. Central Australia p. 136 was based on mixed elements: the Lake Gregory (W.A.) material has now been described as A. maconochieana but the status of the N.T. and Qld entities require further study.

Type of accepted name

Bourke, N.S.W., May 1900, R.H.Cambage ; lecto: NSW, fide P.G.Kodela, Telopea 7: 420 (1998); see P.G.Kodela, loc. cit. , for discussion of type, including superfluous neotype.


Racosperma cambagei (R.T.Baker) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 346 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

[ Acacia georginae auct. non F.M.Bailey: K.Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 261 (1926)]


J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 4: pl. 121 (1908); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 355 & 356 (1981); J.W.Turnbull (ed.), Multipurpose Austral. Trees & Shrubs 121 (1986); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 201 (1988); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 235 (1992); E.Anderson, Pl. Central Queensland 23 (1993).

Representative collections

N.T.: 62.3 km SE of Ranken, G.Chippendale NT7232 (NSW, PERTH). S.A.: Innamincka Stn, J.Vickery 2 (PERTH). Qld: c. 100 km NNW of Clermont, Adams 958 (K, PERTH); 32 km W of Adavale, L.Pedley 2492 (K, PERTH). N.S.W.: N of Bourke on road to Cunnamulla, J.G. & M.H.Simmons 1065 (NSW, PERTH).


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: Thursday 22 June 2023