Go to Species Gallery Go to Image Gallery Go to Info Gallery Go to For Schools Go to Contact Go to About  

Acacia kettlewelliae

Jump to a taxon beginning with the letter:

Acacia kettlewelliae Maiden, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 49: 484 (1916)

Buffalo Wattle

Bushy shrub or tree usually 2–10 m high. Branchlets angled at extremities, glabrous. Phyllodes on raised stem-projections, narrowly (oblong-) elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate, usually 4–10 cm long and 3–10 mm wide with l:w = 8–13, mucronulate, thin, green to glaucous, glabrous except pulvinus normally sparsely hirtellous adaxially, 1-nerved per face; lateral nerves obscure; gland submerged and swollen within the lamina, orifice at distal end of gland and usually downward-pointing, usually 5–15 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences racemose, prolific in upper axils; raceme axes mostly 1–7 cm long, glabrous; peduncles 2–4 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, usually 8–11-flowered, bright light golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united to near their apices; ovary usually glabrous. Pods 5–10 cm long, 8–14 mm wide, firmly chartaceous, pruinose, glabrous, dehiscing unilaterally. Seeds normally longitudinal to oblique, oblong-elliptic to ovate, 4–5 mm long, dull, black; aril clavate.

Occurs in the higher parts of the Great Divide from Batlow and the Kybean Ra., N.S.W., to Mt Buffalo and near Omeo, Vic. At high altitudes it grows in montane forest, but it also grows on lower slopes and near streams.

The taxonomic status of A. oreophila and A. walteri require further investigation; J.H.Willis, Victorian Naturalist 73: 157 (1957), regarded them as conspecific with A. kettlewelliae . The types are flowering specimens which differ from A. kettlewelliae in their densely hairy ovaries and more numerous flowers per head (i.e. 17–20; A. oreophila is erroneously given as 10–14-flowered in protologue). Also, in A. oreophila the gland is pustulate and exserted with a minute central orifice; in A. walteri there are 1–3 glands which, although somewhat similar to those of A. kettlewelliae , have a larger orifice which does not point downwards.

In Vic. and southern N.S.W. two forms can often be recognised in the field. In drier woodland sites it occurs as a shrub c. 2 m high, with short, narrow (to c. 5 mm wide), slatey grey-green to glaucous phyllodes; this form may resemble the Mt Typo variant of A. boormanii . In wetter forests it occurs as a shrub or small tree to 10 m high, with long, broad (to 10 mm wide), olive green to sage dark green phyllodes.

Hybrids with A. pravissima occur at Paradise Falls, north-eastern Vic. (e.g. F.E.Bienvenu 0005 , MEL). These hybrids resemble A. semibinervia . A putative hybrid, involving the same parents, is also known in cultivation from material collected from the Snowy R., N.S.W. (e.g. W.Molyneux s.n ., PERTH01506293).

Acacia kettlewelliae appears to be most closely related to A. pataczekii and A. prominens .

Acacia kettlewelliae Maiden (Kybean Range variant)

Plants from the Kybeyan Ra., N.S.W., are unusual in being shrubs 1–2 m high with small phyllodes (1–3 cm long, 3–4 mm wide, l:w = 3–7, gland 2–6 mm above pulvinus), e.g. J.Pickard & R.Coveny 2822 (CANB, NSW, PERTH). These may represent a distinct taxon and there are indications that they hybridise with A. kybeanensis .

Type of accepted name

St Bernard’s Hospice to Harrietville, Vic., 18 Jan. 1913, R.H.Cambage 3714 ; holo: NSW; iso: K, NSW.


? Acacia oreophila Maiden & Blakely, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 60: 185; pl. 15, figs 1–6 (1927). Type: Buffalo Mtns, Vic., Oct. 1902, C.Walter s.n. ; holo: NSW153707 & 179598; iso: K.

? Acacia walteri Maiden & Blakely, op. cit . 184; pl. 15, figs 7–11 (1927). Type: Buffalo Mtns, Vic., Oct. 1902, C.Walter s.n .; holo: NSW166400 & 179599; iso: K, NSW179600.


L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 320 (1981); M.D.Tindale, Telopea 1: 436, pl. 20g- h (1980), gland; T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 153, fig. 168, pl. 168 (1992).

Representative collections

N.S.W.: on the banks of the Tumbarumba Ck, 8.1 km from the main road junction in Tumbarumba and on the road to Tumut, N.Hall H79/101 (MEL, NSW, PERTH); Alpine Way, Kosciusko Natl Park, J.Pickard & R.Coveny 2778 (NSW, PERTH). Vic.: Tambo R., c. 27.3 km E of Omeo, A.C.Beauglehole 41549 (MEL); Paradise Falls, 13 km SSE of Whitfield, B.R.Maslin 5946 (MEL, 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: Tuesday 11 September 2018