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Acacia hemiteles

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Acacia hemiteles Benth., Linnaea 26: 619 (1855)

Tan Wattle , Broombush

Dense, spreading, multistemmed, glabrous shrub 0.5–2 m high. Branchlets angled to flattened at extremities; cuticle often white. Phyllodes patent to erect, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong or linear, narrowed at both ends, straight to recurved, 4–10 cm long, 4–9 mm wide, acute to subacute, innocuous to pungent, subrigid, smooth, greyish green, often glaucous when young; midrib and margins prominent; lateral nerves absent or obscure; gland 0–3 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences normally 4–7-headed racemes; raceme axes 6–16 mm long, enclosed when young by imbricate, brown bracts; peduncles 5–11 mm long, slender; heads globular, 20–30-flowered, golden; bracteoles absent. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods very shallowly curved (sub-straight) to openly 1 1/2-coiled, to 8 cm long, 5–8 mm wide, chartaceous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong to elliptic or ovate, 3–5 mm long, dull, dark brown to black, exarillate.

Occurs from Kanandah Stn, Nullabor Plain, W to near Ongerup and Canna, W.A. There is also a recent collection from near Maralinga, S.A. Often common where it occurs. Grows in sand, loam or clay, in woodland or shrubland, sometimes on laterite or granite rocks.

A member of the ‘ A. prainii group’ and close to A. prainii itself which has narrower, more pungent phyllodes; also, the branchlet ribs and phyllode margins and midrib are sometimes viscid. A putative hybrid between the two species occurs at Burracoppin (i.e. M.L.Cody s.n ., PERTH00346411). Until recently A. anthochaera was regarded as a long phyllode variant of A. hemiteles ; these two species also appear to sometimes hybridise. See also A. subcaerulea .

There appears to be two forms of this species, distinguished most obviously by their carpological features.  Plants from around Kalgoorlie in the goldfields region tend to have straighter pods with larger seeds compared to those occurring further west in the wheatbelt.  However, because of a general paucity of fruiting collections it is difficult to properly assess the taxonomic significance of these trends.

Type of accepted name

Swan R., W.A., J.Drummond 4: 47 ; lecto: K, fide B.R.Maslin, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard . 2: 310 (1980); iso: K.


Acacia graffiana F.Muell., Australas. Chem. Druggis t 2: 118 (1887). Type: W.A., J.Drummond s.n .; lecto (flowering specimen): MEL, fide B.R.Maslin, loc. cit .; iso: PERTH; W.A., J.Drummond s.n .; paralecto (fruiting specimens): K, MEL, PERTH.

Acacia dentifera var. intermedia S.Moore, J. Linn. Soc., Bot . 45: 174 (1920). Type: Nungarin, W.A., F.Stoward 302 ; holo: BM; iso: PERTH.

Acacia subcaerulea (as ‘subcoerulea’) var. subsessilis E.Pritz., Bot. Jahrb. Syst . 35: 303 (1904). Type: near Kalgoorlie, W.A., Nov. 1898, W.V.Fitzgerald s.n. ; ?iso: PERTH (Fragment ex B, labelled ‘Lakeside, Nov. 1898, W.V.Fitzgerald’).

[ Acacia subcaerulea auct. non Lindl.: G.Bentham, Fl. Austral . 2: 369 (1864), pro syn.; S.Moore, J. Linn. Soc., Bot . 34: 189 (1899)]


F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 6 (1887), as A graffiana ; R.Erickson et al ., Fl. & Pl . W. Australia 137 (1973), as A. graffiana ; M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 175 & pl. 17 (1988).

Representative collections

W.A.: 211 km E of Kalgoorlie near Zanthus, T.E.H.Aplin 5709 & M.E.Trudgen (CANB, PERTH); near Kalannie on Dalwallinu Rd, A.M.Ashby 4244 (PERTH); 24 km S of Lake Grace, J.Goodwin 20 (PERTH); 3.2 km N of Moora on Geraldton Hwy, B.R.Maslin 1403 (K, NSW, PERTH); 15 km SSW of Queen Victoria Rocks, K.Newbey 5683 (CANB, PERTH). S.A.: 26 km ESE of Maralinga, L.D.Williams 9618 (AD).


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