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Acacia chamaeleon

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Acacia chamaeleon Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 189 (1995)

Openly crowned, glabrous shrub 2–3 m high. Branchlets finely ribbed. Phyllodes subdistant, variable, narrowly linear to filiform or oblanceolate to narrowly oblanceolate, straight or sometimes shallowly curved, subterete to quadrangular when filiform, 6–21 cm long, 1–12 mm wide, uncinate to subuncinate or (broad phyllodes) excentrically rostellate, dark green; midrib prominent; lateral nerves obscure; gland mostly 3–10 mm above pulvinus, occasionally a few phyllodes with 2 glands. Inflorescences mostly 4–7-headed racemes; raceme axes mostly 10–42 mm long, glabrous or appressed-puberulous; peduncles mostly 4–6 mm long, glabrous or sparsely to densely appressed-puberulous with white to pale golden hairs; heads globular, 5.5–7 mm diam., 23–37-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 3/4–5/6-united. Pods linear, scarcely constricted between seeds, to 10 cm long, 4–5 mm wide, firmly chartaceous to thinly coriaceous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong-elliptic, 4–5 mm long; funicle filiform, 3/4 to entirely encircling seed in a single fold, red-brown; aril clavate.

Confined to a small area bounded by Broomehill, Nyabing (c. 60 km NE of Broomehill) and Jerramungup, south-western W.A. Grows in grey-brown, gravelly clay and loam over clay in eucalypt shrubland.

A particularly variable species, especially with respect to its phyllode morphology. The typical variant (Ongerup area) has linear, flat phyllodes 2–5 mm wide; it resembles and is sometimes confused with the more southerly A. harveyi , but is distinguished by subdistant phyllodes (internodes 1–2 cm long compared with 0.5–1 cm) and darker yellow, larger flower-heads. Another variant with oblanceolate to narrowly oblanceolate phyllodes to 12 mm wide (Broomehill- Borden area, Borden is c. 65 km ESE of Broomehill); it resembles the more distributed northerly A. brumalis (oblanceolate phyllode variant) , but is distinguished by its presumably green phyllodes (colour judged from dry specimens), usually white-hairy peduncles and summer flowering; the type of A. leiophylla var. microcephala appears to be referable to this variant. Still another variant, with filiform phyllodes, (mainly around Nyabing) includes the type of A. stowardii . More detailed studies may well result in recognition of some or all of the variants as formal infraspecific or specific taxa; this work should also assist in clarifying the relationship between this species and its equally variable close relatives, A. brumalis and A. chrysella .

One of the ‘ A. microbotrya group’.

Type of accepted name

About 8 km N of Ongerup towards Pingrup, W.A., 21 Dec. 1971, B.R.Maslin 2585 ; holo: PERTH; iso: K, MEL, NY.


? Acacia leiophylla var. microcephala Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss . 1: 15 (1844). Type: interior of south-west W.A., Oct. 1840, L.Preiss 921 ; lecto: NY, fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 408 (1994); isolecto: G-DC, LD, MEL, NAP, PERTH, W.

Acacia stowardii S.Moore, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 45: 173 (1920), non J.H.Maiden (1917). Type: East of Katanning, W.A., F.Stoward 177 ; lecto: BM (flowering specimen), fide B.R.Maslin, loc. cit ; isolecto: BM, PERTH; paralecto: BM (fruiting specimen), PERTH (Fragment ex BM); fide B.R.Maslin, loc. cit.

Representative collections

W.A.: 5.3 km N of Nyabing Hotel Kukerin, R.J.Cumming 2697 (CANB, K, PERTH); 9.7 km NW of Ongerup, K.Newbey 19D (AD, BM, BRI, CANB, G, K, MEL, MO, NSW, PERTH); 5 km S of Broomehill along main road, A.Strid 21858 (AD, BM, C, MEL, NY, 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: Tuesday 11 September 2018