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Acacia cupularis

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Acacia cupularis Domin, Vestn. Krl. Ceskf Spolecn. Nauk, Tr. Mat.-Prr . 2: 45 (1923)

Coastal Umbrella Bush

Glabrous, open to subdense shrub usually 1–2.5 m high, to 2.5 m wide. Branchlets commonly dark red-brown, often lightly pruinose. Phyllodes subdistant, ascending to erect, narrowly linear, straight, 3–8 cm long, 1–4 (–5) mm wide, rounded-obtuse, with minute and central mucro, á®±thick, finely wrinkled when dry, subglaucous to dark green; midrib not prominent; glands 2 or 3, lowermost 3–14 mm above pulvinus, distal glands smaller with one at base of mucro. Inflorescences 2 or 3-headed racemes; raceme axes 1–7 mm long; basal bracts caducous but bract scars persistent; peduncles 2–6 mm long; heads globular, subdense, 16–22-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united into a truncate calyx. Pods erect, submoniliform, to 7 cm long, 4–5 mm wide, crustaceous, breaking readily at constrictions, commonly dark brown. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 3–5 mm long, dull, light brown; aril orange to scarlet.

Widespread in coastal and near coastal areas of southern Australia from Albany, W.A., through S.A. to the Vic. border, extending inland to Dimboola, western Vic. and Three Springs, W.A. Grows in sand, sometimes on dunes, or in loam or sandy clay in ‘Mallee’ communities.

Acacia cupularis is a member of the ‘ A. bivenosa group’ and until recently was considered conspecific with A. ligulata , fide A.R.Chapman & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 8: 260 (1992). Narrow phyllode forms of A. ligulata are most reliably distinguished from A. cupularis by wider, woody pods which don’t break readily at constrictions between the seeds and phyllodes which are thicker (therefore coarsely wrinkled when dry) and uncinate with a recurved to straight mucro.  Phyllodes may resemble those of A. maxwellii which differs in having pubescent branchlets and longer peduncles; also, A. maxwellii is prostrate shrub while A. cupularis is normally erect, however, a prostrate form is know from coastal cliffs in S.A.   Superficially similar to A. crassiuscula (W.A.) and A. anceps x nematophylla (S.A.) .

Type of accepted name

Bridgetown to Kojonup and Slab Hut Gulley, W.A., 1910, A.A.Dorrien-Smith ; holo: K; iso: PR [sphalm.‘1900’].


Acacia saligna (Labill.) H.L.Wendl. p.p. , as to excluded syntype, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 334, figs 1–4 (1974).

Acacia salicina var. minor F.Muell., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot . 3: 126 (1859). Type: St. Vincent Gulf, S.A., 16 Dec. 1847, [ F.Mueller s.n .]; probable syn: MEL; Spencer Gulf, S.A., C.Wilhelmi s.n. ; syn: n.v .

Acacia salicina var. wayi Maiden (as ‘Wayae’), Trans. & Proc. Rep. Roy. Soc. S. Australia 32: 277 (1908); A. bivenosa subsp. wayi (Maiden) Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 28 (1977). Type: Kingscote, Kangaroo Is., S.A., Jan. 1907, J.H.Maiden ; syn: K, MEL, NSW; Marion Bay, S.A., Sept. 1907, R.S.Rogers ; syn: K; cultivated, Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Dec. 1906, J.H.Maiden ; syn: MEL, NSW, PERTH.

[ Acacia ramosissima auct. non Benth.: C.F.Meisner, in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss . 1: 16 (1844)]


D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 139 (1992); A.R.Chapman & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 8: 261, fig. 4E (1992).

Representative collections

W.A.: Esperance, 1.6–3.2 km from ocean, B.R.Maslin 2544a (CANB, K, MEL, PERTH); 33 km from Morawa towards Three Springs, B.R.Maslin 4275 (AD, CANB, PERTH). S.A.: 3.5 km E of S.A.- W.A. State Border, R.J.Chinnock 3347 (AD, PERTH); Hincks Natl Park, D.Symon 6513 (AD). Vic.: Little Desert, S of Kaniva, A.C.Beauglehole 18916 (MEL).


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