Acacia sparsiflora Maiden, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 53: 221; pl. 15, figs 15–20 & pl. 16, figs 1–4 (1920)
Currawong , Currawang
Tree to 15 m high. Bark rough. Branchlets glabrous or subglabrous (hairy on juvenile plants). Phyllodes (excluding juvenile plants) falcately recurved, narrowed at both ends, 8–16 cm long, 5–10 mm wide, thinly coriaceous, grey-green, glabrous or sparsely appressed-puberulous, with numerous fine, close, non-anastomosing nerves, of which 1–3 more prominent. Inflorescences 2-headed racemes; raceme axes 0.5–4 mm long, normally terminated by a dormant vegetative bud, sometimes growing out at anthesis; peduncles 5–10 mm long, glabrous or sparsely appressed-puberulous; spikes 2–4.5 cm long, bright lemon yellow. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united into a sinuate-toothed, glabrous calyx; ovary densely hairy. Pods shallowly constricted between and slightly convex over seeds, to 9 cm long, 3 mm wide, thinly coriaceous, brown with yellow margins, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 4–5 mm long, shiny, dark brown to blackish; funicle/aril folded below seed.
Most common in the Darling Downs district, Qld, with scattered occurrences as far N as c. 120 km S of Charters Towers, as far W as near Adavale and S to the vicinity of Yetman, N.S.W. Often forms dense stands, sometimes with A. shirleyi , in shallow stony soil, often over weathered sandstone, in the 625–750 mm annual rainfall belt. Also occurs in eucalypt woodland and open forest.
Young plants have silvery sericeous or (on Bancroft’s ‘Eidsvold’ collection) puberulous branchlets and phyllodes, furthermore, their phyllodes are elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 3–5 cm long, 10–20 mm wide and straight. Mature plants are glabrous to subglabrous and have markedly falcate phyllodes mostly 8–16 cm long and 5–10 mm wide; trees with ‘intermediate’ foliage resemble A. burrowii but the two species are not closely related.
In the absence of pods mature plants could be confused with A. spirorbis subsp. solandri which can be distinguished by phyllode nerves more widely spaced and sparingly anastomosing, and spikes rarely on a much-reduced raceme.
See also A. blakei .
The leaves are eaten readily by stock and the trees are cut for fodder in times of drought.
Type of accepted name
Eidsvold [presumably an error for N of Chinchilla, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 154 (1978)], Qld, T.L.Bancroft 5 ; holo: NSW n.v. , fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 153 (1978).
Racosperma sparsiflorum (Maiden) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 355 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.
J.H.Maiden, loc. cit. ; S.L.Everist, Div. Pl. Indust. Advisory Leafl. No. 1024: pl. 17 (1969); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 255 (1988); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 51, fig. 28, pl. 28 (1992).
Qld: 5 km W of Clermont T/S, Adams 1271 (BRI, PERTH); on Warrego Hwy, W of Baking Board, between Chinchilla and Miles, M.G.Lithgow 954 (BRI); 5 km SE of Ula Ula HS, V.J.Nelder & M.B.Thomas 461 (BRI); western boundary of Milo Holding, c. 13 km WNW of Gooyea outstation, NW of Adavale, R.W.Purdie 2057 (BRI). N.S.W.: 9 km from Yetman on Texas road, A.N.Rodd 4110 (B n.v. , BRI n.v. , CANB n.v. , K n.v. , MEL n.v. , NSW, NY n.v. ).
(BRM & RSC)