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Acacia oxycedrus

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Acacia oxycedrus Sieber ex DC., Prodr . 2: 453 (1825)

Spike Wattle

Prickly, erect, spreading or contorted tree or shrub, 1–10 m high. Young stems commonly hispid. Stipules persistent, prominent, spine-like or setaceous, commonly rigid, 1–3 mm long. Phyllodes crowded, sessile, linear, lanceolate or subulate, 1–4 cm long, 1.5–4 mm wide, pungent, mostly glabrous, with 3–5 veins, the upper one becoming marginal towards apex of phyllode; gland absent. Inflorescences with peduncles 3–12 mm long; spikes dense, 1.5–5 cm long, commonly exceeding phyllodes; bracteoles stipitate, navicular, 0.6–1 mm long, pubescent. Flowers 4-merous; sepals united. Pods cylindrical or slightly compressed, 6–11 cm long, 4–8 mm wide, woody, longitudinally wrinkled. Seeds elliptic, 3.5–5 mm long; funicle short, thick, folded 2 or 3 times; aril turbinate.

Widespread in heathlands, woodlands and forests ranging from far south-eastern S.A. through southern and eastern Vic. to N.S.W. where it occurs in the Blue Mtns and N of Sydney and the far south coast. Flowers June–Nov. and fruits Dec.–Feb.

Differs from A. verticillata by its prominent and persistent stipules and its much larger pluriveined phyllodes. It appears to be related also to the ‘ A. longifolia group’ as evidenced by its hybridising readily with several closely related species in that group. Putative hybrids with A. longifolia subsp. sophorae as the second parent have been recorded from The Lookout near Woy Woy, N of Sydney in N.S.W., between Nelson and Kentbrook in far south-western Vic. and also from Sperm Whale Head, S of Bairnsdale on the Vic. coast. Note: This hybrid is keyed and described separately in WATTLE, as A. oxycedrus x sophorae .

Apparently A. oxycedrus also hybridises with A. mucronata subsp. longifolia and indeed H.Williamson ( Victorian Naturalist 46: 200 (1930)) described A. mucronata var. acuta from specimens which appear intermediate between these two presumptive parents. These specimens were gathered near Halls Gap in the The Grampians and near Warburton in central Vic. Similar material has also been recorded from the Plenty Ranges, N of Melbourne, Cockatoo, E of Melbourne and Mt Observation near Marysville also in central Vic.

Acacia longifolia subsp. longifolia is thought also to hybridise with A. oxycedrus and material derived from these supposed parents has been recorded from the Heatherton and Clayton districts, south-east of Melbourne. Similar material with the same putative parents has been recorded from the Patonga area, S of Gosford in N.S.W. There is evidence, also, that A. floribunda hybridises with A. oxycedrus and specimens apparently referable to a hybrid between these parents has been recorded from Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury R., N of Sydney.

All of these presumed hybrids can be distinguished easily from A. oxycedrus by the length of their phyllodes which exceed 4.5 cm and from their supposed parents by their phyllodes gradually tapering into hard sharp and rigid points and often, also, by the presence of obvious and persistent stipules.

Type of accepted name

Fl. Novae Holl. [New South Wales], 1823, F.W.Sieber 457 ; holo: G-DC n.v. ; iso: PERTH (Photo seen).


Hecatandra oxycedrus (Sieber ex DC.) Raf., Sylva Tellur. 120 (1838). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia taxifolia Lodd., Bot. Cab. 13: t. 1225 (1827), nom. illeg. , non Willd. (1806) nec A.Cunn. (1825). Type: N.S.W. [without further information]; n.v.

Doubtful name

Acacia oxycedrus var. microstachys Regel: see Doubtful Names.


D.J.E.Whibley, Acacias S. Australia fig. 81 (1980); D.J.E.Whibley in J.P.Jessop & H.R.Toelken (eds), Fl. S. Australia 2: fig. 281B (1986); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees Shrubs SE Australia 302 (1981); M.H.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 211 (1988); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 43, pl. 19 (1992); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, fig. 97 (1992).

Representative collections

S.A.: 1.6 km N of Wandilo Rly Siding, c. 15 km N of Mt Gambier, I.B.Wilson 467 (AD, MEL). N.S.W.: Greenmans Valley Rd, W of Mt White, R.Coveny 11219, A.Tillsley & B.Wallace (CANB, NSW); Nadgee Nature Reserve, N.Fisher 10 (CANB). Vic.: Hollow Mtn Ridge, Victoria Ra., The Grampians, R.B.Filson 5265 (MEL); 3 km W of Powelltown, D.B.Foreman 1034 (CANB, HO, MEL, 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 24 August 2021