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Acacia salicina

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Acacia salicina Lindl., in T.L.Mitchell , Three Exped. Australia 2: 20 (1838)

Broughton Willow , Cooba , Doolan , Native Wattle , Willow Wattle, and more

Shrub or tree 3–13, sometimes 20 m high in N.S.W., often clonal due to suckering habit. Branchlets pendulous, dark grey-brown, glabrous. Phyllodes pendulous, variable, linear to narrowly oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, 7–20 cm long, 4–30 mm wide, l:w = 4–40, flaccid, green to grey-green, sometimes glaucous, glabrous, 1-nerved, penninerved; glands 2–5, lowermost 0–5 mm above pulvinus, distal glands often prominent with one at base of mucro. Inflorescences 2–8-headed racemes; raceme axes 1–5 cm long, glabrous, rarely appressed-puberulous; peduncles 5–15 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, subdense, 15–25-flowered, cream to pale yellow. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united into a truncate calyx. Pods narrowly oblong, to 12 cm long, 7–13 mm wide, woody, thick, longitudinally striate when dry, grey-green, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, elliptic to oblong-elliptic, 4.5–6 mm long, shiny, dark brown to black; aril scarlet.

Widespread in eastern Australia, predominantly in central Qld and western N.S.W., but extending to N.T., S.A. and Vic.; possibly also W.A. (see below). Grows mostly along water courses and on floodplains, in soils ranging from sand to clay. For full discussion of habitat and of uses, see J.W.Turnbull (ed.), Multipurpose Austral. Trees Shrubs 192 (1986). Flowers irregularly throughout the year with peak appearing to be Apr.-June.

A member of the ‘ A. bivenosa group’ which in the past was often confused with A. ligulata and A. ampliceps , see A.R.Chapman & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 8: 249–283 (1992) for review. It is distinguished most readily from A. ligulata by its pendulous phyllodes and cream to pale yellow heads and from A. ampliceps by its fewer-flowered, cream to pale yellow flower-heads and broader pods.

A flowering collection ( I.J.Mason LAC 5279, A n.v., CANB, BRI n.v., L n.v., P n.v., PERTH, RSA n.v.) from 20 km W of Wiluna, W.A., appears to be A. salicina but pods are needed to confirm the identification; the species is otherwise not known to occur in W.A.

Type of accepted name

Subtropical New Holland [Lachlan R., 33 15’S, 147 33’E, N.S.W.], 30 Mar. 1836, T.L.Mitchell ‘45’ ; holo: CGE.


Racosperma salicinum (Lindl.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 355 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia varians Benth., in T.L.Mitchell, J. Exped. Trop. Australia 132 (1848); A. salicina var. varians (Benth.) Benth., Fl. Austral . 2: 367 (1864). Type: subtropical New Holland [Balonne R., SW of St George, Qld], 6 Apr. 1846, T.L.Mitchell ‘104’ ; lecto: K, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 273 (1979); iso: CGE; paralectos: subtropical New Holland, T.L.Mitchell ‘91’ (CGE, K), ‘101’ (A, K), ‘437’ (A) and ‘489’ (K).

Acacia salix-tristis F.Muell., Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc . 5: 108 (1853), nom. inva l. (description not diagnostic). In all probabilty this name refers to A. salicina .

Acacia salicina var. typica Domin, Biblioth. Bot . 89: 255 (1926), nom. illeg .


B.R.Maslin, in J.P.Jessop (ed.), Fl. Central Australia 120, fig. 159H (1981); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W. New South Wales 371 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 136, fig. 144, pl. 144 (1992); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 135 (1992); E.Anderson, Pl. Central Queensland 34 (1993).

Representative collections

N.T.: Burt Plain, c. 51 km N of Alice Springs, D.J.Nelson 343 (PERTH). S.A.: Yandama Ck, 16 km SW of Hawker Gate, J.Campbell & J.Pickard 1266 (PERTH); Dry Ck, Northfield, suburb N of Adelaide, D.N.Kraehenbuehl 158 (PERTH). Qld: Milray Stn, S of Pentland, S.T.Blake 9971 (BRI); Budgerygar, 64 km SW of Yaraka and 80 km E of Windorah, R.W.Johnson 3078 (BRI). N.S.W.: c. 10 km E of Scone towards Moonan Flat, R.Coveny 2381 (PERTH); Murrumbidgee R., 17.5 km WSW of Darlington Point P.O., Yarrada State Forest, R.G.Coveny 12889 et al. (PERTH). Vic.: Spence Bridge education area, A.C.Beauglehole ACB 83493 (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 21 July 2020