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Acacia falcata

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Acacia falcata Willd., Sp. Pl. 4th edn, 4: 1053 (1806)

Burra , Sickle-shaped Acacia , Sally , Hickory Wattle , Silver-leaved Wattle

Slender shrub or tree 2–5 m high. Branchlets acutely angled at extremities, red-brown, commonly lightly pruinose, glabrous. Phyllodes falcate, broadest above middle, much-narrowed at base, 7–19 cm long, 1–4 cm wide, thin, grey-green to glaucous, sometimes green, glabrous, with excentric midrib, obscurely penninerved; gland not prominent, 0–5 mm above pulvinus; pulvinus c. 5 mm long. Inflorescences 9–22-headed racemes; raceme axes normally 2–6 cm long, sparsely to moderately appressed-puberulous, the hairs white or light golden and sometimes absent in fruit; peduncles 3–4 mm long, with indumentum as on raceme axes; heads globular, 15–20-flowered, creamy white. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods linear, to 12 cm long, 5–8 mm wide, firmly chartaceous, blackish, often lightly pruinose, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong to ovate-elliptic, 3.5–4.5 mm long, somewhat shiny, black; funicle encircling seed in a single fold, light brown; aril clavate.

Occurs in coastal regions and on the eastern slopes of the Great Divide from near Narooma, N.S.W., N to Bundaberg and also near Herberton and Ingham (c. 900 km north of Bundaberg), Qld. A similar Qld disjunction occurs in A. falciformis and A. fimbriata . A common element of the understorey of Eucalyptus communities, often in shallow stony soil.

Under A. falcata in the Willdenow Herbarium at Berlin Herbarium there are two sheets of A. falcata and one of A. melanoxylon . One of the A. falcata specimens originated from J.C.Wendland and is regarded as isotype. The other two sheets are without label details.

A member of the ‘ A. microbotrya group’ and is sometimes confused with A. falciformis (especially with some forms found in north Qld), or A. penninervis which is distinguished by the gland 5–30 mm above the pulvinus and connected to the midrib by a fine oblique nerve.  See also A. nova-anglica .

Type of accepted name

Specimen without locality, ex J.C.Wendland ; iso: B.


Acacia falcata is based on the following: Mimosa obliqua J.C.Wendl., Bot. Beob. 57 (1798), nom. illeg . , non Lam. (1792); M. falcata (Willd.) Poir., Encycl . 1: 61 (1810); Racosperma falcatum (Willd.) Pedley, Bot. J. Linn. Soc . 92: 248 (1986). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia obliqua Desv., J. Bot. Agric. 3: 67 (1814); Mimosa obliqua Pers., Syn. Pl. 2: 261 (1806), nom. illeg ., non Lam. (1792) nec J.C.Wendl. (1798). Type: cultivated at the botanic garden, Paris; n.v. , synonymy following E.G.Steudel, Nomencl. Bot. 2nd edn, 1: 4 (1840).

Acacia plagiophylla Spreng., Syst. Veg. 16th edn, 3: 135 (1826). Type: Fl. Novae Holl. [presumbly N.S.W.], F.W.Sieber 450 ; iso: G-DC, HAL, MEL, MO, STR.

Acacia ensifolia hort. ex Steud., Nomencl. Bot. 2nd edn, 1: 5 (1840), pro syn. sub A. falcata .


H.L.Wendland, Comm. Acac. Aphyll. t. 14 (1820); N.C.W.Beadle, Stud. Fl. NE New South Wales 3: 358; B.A.Lebler, Wildfl. SE Queensland 2: 52 (1981); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 183 (1988); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 128, fig. 134, pl. 134 (1992).

Representative collections

Qld: near Herberton, Atherton Tablelands, R.D.Hoogland 8553 (MEL); Enoggera, near Brisbane, C.T.White 7345 (BRI). N.S.W.: 1.5 km W of Wallacia, R.Coveny 841 (NSW, PERTH); 3.4 km from Tilba Tilba to Bermagui, H.Salasoo 5100 (NSW).


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