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Acacia mabellae

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Acacia mabellae Maiden, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 49: 471 (1916)

Mabel’s Wattle , Black Wattle

Shrub or tree 3–10 (– 20) m high. New shoots golden (rarely white) puberulous. Branchlets angled at extremities, glabrous. Phyllodes somewhat pendulous, linear-elliptic to falcate, sometimes oblanceolate, narrowed at both ends, mostly 12–22 cm long, usually 7–15 mm wide, thin, glabrous, with prominent midrib, obscurely penninerved; gland 8–30 mm above pulvinus; margin shallowly indented at gland which is frequently connected to midrib by a fine oblique nerve. Inflorescences 6–16-headed racemes; raceme axes normally 1.5–4 cm long, often growing out, usually golden-puberulous; peduncles 6–12 mm long, slender, with indumentum as on raceme axes; heads globular, 17–20-flowered, creamy white. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united almost to their apices. Pods narrowly oblong, to 14 cm long, 9–11 mm wide, thinly coriaceous, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal to oblique, oblong to ovate-elliptic, 4–5 mm long; funicle encircling seed in a double fold, thick, black; aril clavate.

Occurs in N.S.W. on the near-coastal slopes of the Great Divide from Higgins Ck, c. 40 km W of Camden, S to Bermagui; one collection from ‘near Bethungra’ is distributionally anomalous (i.e. H.Boyd , NSW178732). Grows in sand in tall Eucalyptus forest, sometimes on the margin of rainforest.

The original spelling of the epithet is retained in preference to mabelliae , fide N.Hall & L.A.S.Johnson, The Names of Acacias of New South Wales 48 (1993).

Specimens from Clyde R. and Mogo State Forest often have some phyllodes 20–25 mm wide.

A member of the ‘ A. microbotrya group’ with phyllodes often similar to those of A. falciformis , A. penninervis , A. retinodes , A. rubida or A. saliciformis . However, A. mabellae is distinguished by a combination of its usually yellow-hairy peduncles and raceme axes (hairs normally spreading), creamy white flower-heads, pods 9–11 mm wide and funicles encircling the seeds. The young raceme axes and peduncles are characteristically golden-puberulous with dense, spreading hairs. However, on mature racemes the hairs are often white to pale yellow, occasionally appressed and may become sparse with age (glabrous in fruit). Acacia falciformis has a similar yellow indumentum except that the hairs are always closely appressed; it is further distinguished by heads 20–30-flowered, pods 15–25 mm wide and funicles not encircling seeds.

Type of accepted name

Milton, N.S.W., Dec. 1902, R.H.Cambage 784 ; syn: NSW; Milton, N.S.W., 7 Nov. 1914, R.H.Cambage 4113 ; syn: NSW; Milton, N.S.W., 17 Aug. 1915, R.H.Cambage 4151 ; syn: CANB, NSW.


Acacia penninervis var. angustifolia Maiden, Wattles & Wattle-barks 3rd edn, 49, 51, 59 (1906). Type: Mojo, N.S.W., Dec. 1920, W.Baeuerlen ; syn: NSW; Milton, R.H.Cambage 784 ; syn: NSW; Conjol, N.S.W., Sept. 1898, W.Heron ; syn: NSW; Conjol, N.S.W., Feb. 1899, W.Heron ; syn: NSW; Bateman’s Bay, N.S.W., Nov. 1892, J.H.Maiden ; syn: NSW.


J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 7: pl. 234 (1918); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 317 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 135, fig. 143, pl. 143 (1992).

Representative collections

N.S.W.: Yerriyong, c. 13 km SW of Nowra, E.F.Constable 1268 (NSW); Central Tilba, 23 Oct. 1957, E.F.Constable s.n . (NSW, K); Eastern side of Clyde Mtn, Budawang Ra., R.Pullen 3895 (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: Thursday 22 June 2023