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Acacia multispicata

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Acacia multispicata Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 400 (1864)

Rather dense, spreading, commonly rounded, multistemmed shrub mostly 0.4- 2.5 m high. Branchlets glabrous or sparingly appressed-puberulous, sometimes tomentulose in phyllode axils. New shoots white to grey, sometimes with golden tips. Phyllodes terete to compressed, occasionally flat and linear, straight to slightly curved, (1- ) 2- 7 (- 10) cm long, 0.8- 1.5 mm wide, with an acute to acuminate and commonly uncinate apex, rigid, glabrous, with 8- 20 fine nerves in all, 3- to many-nerved per face when flat. Inflorescences simple, 1 or 2 per axil; peduncles 0- 2 mm long, glabrous to puberulous; receptacle puberulous; heads loosely obloid to cylindrical, 8- 15 mm long, golden; bracteoles shortly stipitate, broadly fan-shaped. Flowers 4-merous; sepals 1/2- 3/4-united; ovary hairy. Pods linear, strongly raised over and constricted between seeds, to 8 cm long, 3- 4 mm wide, thin-crustaceous, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, elliptic, 3- 4 mm long, dull to subnitid, smooth, pitted and/or verruculose, black; aril apical.

Widespread from Ajana (c. 60 km ESE of Kalbarri) S to Cranbrook and E to near Queen Victoria Rock (which is c. 45 km SSW of Coolgardie) and Frank Hann Natl Park area (located 30- 110 km ENE of Lake King), south-western W.A.. The specimen I.Olsen 584 (PERTH) said to have been collected from 40 km S of Carnarvon (c. 300 km N of Ajana) is possibly incorrectly labelled. Grows mostly on sand plains in heath, scrub and shrubland.

A perplexingly variable species and the treatment adopted here is a conservative one. Field study throughout its extensive range is needed to help elucidate the patterns of variation, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 44 (1995). A measure of the variation within individual populations and the collection of more fruiting material would be especially helpful for arriving at the best taxonomy for the species.

Acacia multispicata along with A. sessilispica and A. singula comprise the ‘Acacia multispicata group’, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, loc. cit.; A. affin. multispicata is also a member of this group.

Type of accepted name

Hill R., W.A., A.Oldfield s.n. ; lecto: MEL719340, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 42 (1995); isolecto: NSW, PERTH; Swan R., J.Drummond s.n. ; paralecto: K; interior of SW Australia, J.S.Roe ; paralecto: K, PERTH (= A. sessilispica ).


[ Acacia microneura auct. non Meisn.: E.Pritzel, in L.Diels & E.Pritzel, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 35: 307 (1904)]

[ Acacia ephedroides auct. non Benth.: G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 2: 400 (1864) p.p. , as to J.Drummond 2: 149 (?BM, E, G, K, NSW, OXF, P); E.Pritzel, in L.Diels & E.Pritzel, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 35: 307 (1904), as to E.Pritzel 585 (B, E, G, K, L, LY, M, NSW, P, PR, US)]

[ Acacia multispicata non Benth.: Fl. Austral. 2: 400 (1864), not as to lectotype but as to J.S.Roe s.n. (K, PERTH)]


M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 241 (1981).

Representative collections

W.A.: 6 km S of Kalbarri turn-off on North West Coastal Hwy, R.S.Cowan A830 & R.A.Cowan (CANB, K, MEL, NY, PERTH, US); Cranbrook, L.Diels 4415 (PERTH); 12 km S of Wickepin towards Harrismith, B.R.Maslin 4796 (CANB, K, MEL, NSW, PERTH); 15 km SSW of Queen Victoria Rock, K.Newbey 5683 (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