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Acacia decora

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Acacia decora Rchb., Iconogr. Bot. Exot . 2: 35, t. 199 (1828)

Western Silver Wattle , Showy Wattle , Western Golden Wattle, and many more

Shrub normally 1–3 m high. Branchlets ribbed, glabrous or sometimes appressed-puberulous. Phyllodes on raised stem-projections, often patent, oblanceolate to narrowly oblanceolate, narrowly elliptic or linear, 2–6 cm long, usually 3.5–10 mm wide, narrowed at base, obtuse to acute, grey-green to glaucous, usually glabrous, 1-nerved per face; lateral nerves obscure or absent; glands 1–2, lowermost normally 5–15 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences prolific racemes in upper axils; raceme axes usually 3–6 cm long, appressed-puberulous with white or golden hairs; peduncles normally 3–6 mm long, appressed-puberulous, with hairs golden but sometimes white in fruit; heads globular, 15–30-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods to 11 cm long, 4–9 mm wide, firmly chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, sometimes pruinose, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 4–6 mm long, shiny, black; funicle-aril 1/2–3/4 length of seed.

Widespread in eastern Australia from the Palmer R. area, north Qld, through N.S.W. to Wangaratta, Vic. Commonly grows on rocky ridges or outcrops, in Eucalyptus communities, sometimes as pure stands.

A somewhat variable species but generally recognised by its relatively short, commonly oblanceolate phyllodes and long racemes with often light golden appressed hairs on their axes and peduncles. The glands are small and normally slightly exserted, the lowermost being situated normally 5–15 mm above the pulvinus and sometimes connected to the midrib by a fine oblique nerve. The phyllode margin is commonly slightly indented at the gland. Racemes occasionally reach 12 cm long (e.g. 9 km from Chinchilla on the Burnett Hwy, Qld, V.Hando 18 , PERTH).

Victorian plants have a rather conspicuous indumentum of appressed hairs on their branchlets; elsewhere the branchlets are normally glabrous or (at apices) sparsely appressed-hairy. The phyllodes are normally glabrous, only occasionally are they sparsely appressed-puberulous, near their base.

Acacia decora sometimes resembles A. buxifolia which is distinguished especially by its normally glabrous raceme axes and peduncles. Acacia caleyi is possibly not specifically distinct from A. decora . Acacia decora is occasionally confused with A. brachybotrya .

Sometimes sympatric with A. polifolia in Qld, which is distinguished by its appressed-puberulous branchlets and generally longer, appressed-puberulous phyllodes. In the field these two species may be confused with A. deuteroneura . The habit of A. hamiltoniana may resemble that of A. decora .

A putative hybrid with A. vestita is noted under that species.

Acacia decora (narrow phyllode variant)

L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 296 (1980), noted a low spreading habit variant with narrow phyllodes (to 3 mm wide) from the Inglewood district, Qld (e.g. T.J.McDonald 362 , BRI). Plants with linear, very narrow phyllodes, commonly 1–2 mm wide, occur in the Hunter R. area, N.S.W. (e.g. B.R.Maslin 5920 , MEXU, NSW, PERTH). These are multistemmed shrubs to c. 1.2 m high and are confined to areas of shaley clay.

Type of accepted name

No type designated.


Acacia buxifolia var. decora (Rchb.) C.Moore & Betche, Handb. Fl. New South Wales 166 (1893); Racosperma decorum (Rchb.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 347 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia decora var. macrophylla T.Mitch., J. Exped. Trop. Australia 223 (1848). Type: subtropical Australia [near W end of Salvator Rosa Natl Park, Qld, 6 July 1846], T.L.Mitchell ; ?iso: K, specimen annotated ‘10 Bidwill’.

Acacia decora var. biglandulosa Domin, Biblioth. Bot . 89: 257 (1926). Type: near Brisbane R., Qld, A.Dietrich 859 ; syn: PR; isosyn: AD, HBG n.v ., CANB, NSW; near Brisbane R., Qld, A.Dietrich 2258 ; syn: PR; Keppel Bay, Qld, Aug. 1802, R.Brown ‘4355’ ; syn: K.

Acacia decora var. typica Domin, Biblioth. Bot . 89: 257 (1926), nom. inval .


H.G.L.Reichenbach, loc. cit. ; J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 5: pl. 169 (1911); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 313 (1981); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 360 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 156, fig. 172, pl. 172 (1992).

Representative collections

Qld: near Croydon, P.D.Hind 1038 & C.K.Ingram (BRI, NSW); Mt Molloy- Cooktown road 15.1 km N of Palmer R., I.B.Staples 2191 (BRI, MEL). N.S.W.: 13 km NE of Boorowa on road to Crookwell, B.R.Maslin 5891 (MEL, PERTH); ‘Ellerslie’, NW of Wielmoringle, W.E.Mulham 1081 (NSW). Vic.: 5 km E of Dookie on Devenish Rd, J.Stuwe 631 (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