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Acacia stowardii

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Acacia stowardii Maiden (as ‘Stowardi’), J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 51: 269 (1917)

Bastard Mulga

Bushy shrub or tree to 5 m high. Bark fissured at base, grey. Branchlets terete except at resinous apices, glabrous. Phyllodes linear to very narrowly elliptic, flat or sometimes subterete, straight or slightly curved, (20–) 30–100 (–12.5) mm long, 1–4 (–9) mm wide, thick, coriaceous, rigid, glabrous, finely multistriate, with 9–15 longitudinal, nonanastomosing nerves per mm, the midnerve sometimes more prominent; gland basal. Peduncles 3–15 mm long. Flower-heads paired in upper axils, obloid or spicate, 0.3–1 (–3.5) cm long, light golden. Flowers 5-merous; calyx cupular, 0.6–1 mm long, dissected to 1/5, pubescent at base and sometimes along midribs; corolla 1.5–1.8 mm long, dissected c. 1/2. Pods narrowly oblong-elliptic to linear, straight-sided or variably constricted between seeds, flat, convex over seeds alternately on each side, to 12.5 cm long, 4–7 (–11) mm wide, chartaceous, brown, reticulate, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal to longitudinally oblique, elliptic-oblong, 3–5 mm long, dark brown to blackish; areole small, with U-shaped pleurogram.

Occurs in all mainland States except Vic. Common in shallow soils of stony or rocky ridges and breakaways, also on sand dunes; often in Mulga communties on low hills. Appears to flower throughout the year; fruits mainly Aug.–Dec. and occasionally at other times of the year.

There are two variants of Acacia stowardii from the Hamersley Ra. area, W.A., fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 4: 98–99 (1982). Variant 1 is a dense shrub 2–3 m high with phyllodes narrowly linear, (6–) 8–12.5 cm long, 1–2 mm wide, olive-green and uniformly multistriate; growing in rocky sandy areas, sometimes on basalt, associated with Triodia . It has a restricted distribution being recorded from the Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Marandoo areas, fide B.R.Maslin, loc. cit . (e.g. 1 km due S of Tom Price Airport, K.Atkins 1227 (NSW, PERTH); Paraburdoo, K.Atkins 1234 (NSW, PERTH)).

Variant 2 is a multistemmed, rounded shrub to 3.5 m high with phyllodes broadly linear to very narrowly elliptic, 4.5–9 (10–12.5) cm long, 2–8 mm wide and dull green, and grey bark normally fissured near base of main trunks or sometimes exfoliating in a manner similar to ‘Minni Ritchi’ to reveal a smooth red underlayer; growing on low rises and in gorges, among rocks. It is widespread in the Hamersley Ra. area and has also been collected from the Rudall R. area, fide B.R.Maslin, loc. cit . (e.g. tributary of Watrara Ck, Upper Rudall R. area, B.R.Maslin 2072 (NSW, PERTH); base of N side of Mt Trevarthon, Hamersley Ra. Natl Park, M.E.Trudgen 2629 (NSW, PERTH)).

Acacia stowardii is very similar to A. kempeana , but differs by its usually narrower phyllodes (mostly less than 4 mm wide) and pods (mostly 4–7 mm wide), and its seeds being longitudinal to longitudinally oblique (more transverse in A. kempeana ). Acacia duriuscula is also closely related to A. stowardii but the former has translucent, more widely spaced nerves (5 or 6 per mm) on the phyllodes. According to L.Pedley, Contr. Queensland Herb . 15: 5 (1974), A. aprepta has morphological affinities to A. stowardii and A. kempeana .

Type of accepted name

Comet Vale, 63 miles [c. 101 km] N of Kalgoorlie, W.A., Dec. 1916, T.J.Jutson 175 (fruiting); syn: NSW, PERTH (Fragment ex NSW); Comet Vale, W.A., Jutson 281 (flowering); syn: NSW, PERTH (Fragment ex NSW).


Racosperma stowardii (Maiden) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 356 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia clivicola Pedley, Contr. Queensland Herb . 15: 7; 23, fig. 5 (1974). Type: near Pinkella, about 40 miles [64 km] from Quilpie on Windorah Rd, Gregory South District, Qld, Mar. 1960, Johnson 1508 ; holo: BRI; iso: NT.


L.Pedley, loc. cit . (1974); I.Armitage, Acacias New South Wales 139 (1978); G.M.Cunningham et al ., Pl. W New South Wales 349 (1981); all as A. clivicola ; D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 262 & 263 (1992).

Representative collections

W.A.: Goongarrie, B.R.Maslin 1948 (K, L, NSW, PERTH). N.T.: southern boundary, Indiana Stn, N.M.Henry 926 (BRI, NSW, PERTH). S.A.: Stuart Creek Stn, 12 km NW of Blower Waterhole, F.J.Badman 3763 (AD, CANB, CORD, NE, NY). Qld: 5 miles [8 km] N of Toompine on Quilpie–Thargomindah road, Warrego district, I.V.Newman 923 (CANB, NSW). N.S.W.: Tibooburra, 25 Oct. 1949, E.F.Constable s.n. (A, AD, K, MEL, NSW, TL, Z).


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