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Acacia eremophila

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Acacia eremophila W.Fitzg., J. Bot . 50: 19 (1912)

Dense, rounded to obconic shrub mostly 0.4-2 m high. Branchlets subappressed-tomentulose, appressed-puberulous or crispate-sericeous. Phyllodes patent to erect, straight, terete, 2–11 cm long, 0.6–1.5 mm diam., commonly reflexed-uncinate, rigid, with 10 closely parallel main nerves depressed below raised internerve spaces bearing raised stomata; gland small; pulvinus and phyllode base tomentulose. Inflorescences simple, 2 per axil; peduncles 1–2 mm long, glabrous or hairy; basal bract cucullate, 1–2 mm long; heads globular, 3–4 mm diam., 10–25-flowered, light golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals mostly to 1/2-united, sometimes free. Pods linear, raised over and constricted between seeds, straight or undulate, 2–5 cm long, 1.5- 3 mm wide, thinly crustaceous, tomentulose to puberulous or glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, elliptic to oblong-ovate, 2.5–3 mm long, dark brown; aril terminal.

A member of the ‘ A. densiflora group’ most closely resembling A. densiflora which has c. 16-nerved phyllodes with straight or slightly curved, coarsely to sharply pungent apices and consistently 1/2- to 3/4-united perianth parts.

The species description does not encompass the characteristics of a variant which differs primarily in having more than 10 phyllode nerves and consequently narrower internerve spaces. It occurs sporadically at Edjudina Stn (c. 130 km northeast of Kalgoorlie) ( M. Blackwell 47 , PERTH), the Great Victoria Desert between Neale Junction and Plumridge Lakes ( B.R. Maslin 5701 , K, MO, NSW, PERTH) and between Norseman and Balladonia ( K. Newbey 7429 , PERTH). This variant was treated as A. rigens by B.R.Maslin, Fl. Central Australia 130 (1981), and specimens were distributed as such; its status needs re-assessing.

There are two widely distributed varieties in southern inland W.A.

Phyllodes mostly 2.5–4.5 cm long; pods straight, glabrous or with red resin-hairs

var. eremophila

Phyllodes 5–11 cm long; pods undulate, appressed-puberulous

var. variabilis


Acacia eremophila W.Fitzg. var. eremophila

Shrub 0.4–2 m high. Phyllodes 2–6 cm long but most commonly 2.5–4.5 cm long, 0.6–1 mm diam. Peduncles 1–2 mm long, glabrous to sparsely puberulous, with red resin-hairs present or absent, rarely densely tomentulose; heads less than 20-flowered. Pods straight, 2–5 cm long, 1.5–2 mm wide, glabrous or with red resin-hairs. Seeds elliptic.

Widespread and scattered from Wubin (c. 20 km due N of Dalwallinu) and Kondinin E to near Menzies (c. 125 km due NNW of Kalgoorlie), Kitchener (c. 160 km due NNE of Balladonia) and Balladonia, W.A. Usually grows in sand or loam, predominantly in low eucalypt woodland and mallee or mixed shrubland.

The phyllode apex is straight instead of deflexed in populations from the Peak Charles–Dundas area, S and SW of Norseman (e.g. I.V.Newman 771 , PERTH). A collection by C.A.Gardner from Bendering is unusual in having densely tomentulose peduncles (i.e. NSW, PERTH).

Acacia papulosa is similar to the typical variety.

Type of accepted name

Cowcowing sandplain, W.A., Aug. 1904, M.Koch 1024a ; lecto: BM, fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 394 (1994); isolecto: NSW, PERTH; Cowcowing, Sept. 1904, M.Koch 1024a ; paralecto: NSW, PERTH.


Acacia leptoneura var. eremophila W.Fitzg. ex Ewart & Jean White, Proc. Roy. Soc. Victoria n. ser. 23: 286; pl. 50, figs 1–4 (1911). Type: Cowcowing, W.A., 1904, M.Koch 1024a ; presumably MEL n.v. , see B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, loc. cit. , for discussion.


A.J.Ewart & J.White, Proc. Roy. Soc. Victoria n. ser., 23: 286; pl. 50, figs 1–4 (1911), as A. leptoneura var. eremophila ; M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 109 (1988).

Representative collections

W.A.: 29 km N of Kondinin towards Narembeen, B.R.Maslin 3423 (CANB, K, PERTH); 3.5 km S of Wubin on road to Dalwallinu, B.R.Maslin 4974 (CANB, K, PERTH); near L. Dundas, I.V.Newman 771 (NSW, PERTH); 33 km W of Balladonia on Eyre Hwy, M.H.Simmons 1160 (PERTH); 5 km W of Kitchener, J.Taylor 545, M.D.Crisp & R.Jackson (NSW, PERTH).


Acacia eremophila var. variabilis Maiden & Blakely, J. Roy. Soc. W. Australia 13: 6; pl. 4, figs 12–20 (1928)

Shrub normally 1- 1.6 m high. Phyllodes 5–11 cm long, 1–1.5 mm diam. Peduncles 2 mm long, sparsely to densely tomentulose or appressed-puberulous, resin-hairs rarely present; heads 20–25-flowered. Pods constricted between seeds, undulate, to 5 cm long, 1.5–3 mm wide, tomentulose or appressed-puberulous. Seeds oblong-ovate.

Known only from near Kalannie, Comet Vale (c. 85 km due NNW of Kalgoorlie), Zanthus (c. 160 km N of Balladonia) and Balladonia, W.A. Probably grows in sand or sandy loam in low woodland or shrubland.

The most obvious characters separating var. variabilis , aside from geography, are the flexuose form of its pods and the longer phyllodes.

Type of accepted name

Comet Vale, W.A., Oct. 1916, J.T.Jutson 84 ; lecto: NSW, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 213 (1995); isolecto: K, MEL p.p. ; paralecto: see R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, loc. cit.


J.H.Maiden & W.F.Blakely, loc. cit.

Representative collections

W.A.: between Balladonia and Norseman, 20.3 km E of turnoff to Newman Rocks, R.J.Chinnock 3002 (PERTH); 34.4 km W of Balladonia on Eyre Hwy, M.H.Simmons 1162 (PERTH); 5 km E of Zanthus, P.G.Wilson 7623 (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