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Acacia ancistrocarpa

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Acacia ancistrocarpa Maiden & Blakely, J. Roy. Soc. Western Australia 13: 31, pl. 21, figs 1–6 (1928)

Multistemmed, resinous shrub or fastigiate tree 1–4 m high, to 4 m diam. Bark smooth on upper trunk, dark and longitudinally fissured towards base, grey or bluish. Branchlets angular, often flexuose, pale yellowish orange or red-brown, glabrous. Phyllodes linear, or very narrowly elliptic, straight or slightly falcate, 4.5–18 cm long, 1.5–10 mm wide, coriaceous, bright olive-green, glabrous, with 1–3 subprominent, yellowish main veins, the minor inconspicuous veins 3 or 4 per mm, with rare anastamoses; glands 2 or 3, marginal. Spikes 2.5–4.5 cm long, golden. Flowers 5-merous; calyx 0.5–0.8 mm long, cut to 1/3, glabrous or slightly tomentose; corolla 1.5–1.8 mm long, cut to 1/2, glabrous; ovary ±tomentose. Pods narrowly oblong or cultrate, tapered at both ends, slightly indented or straight-sided, 6–11.5 cm long, subwoody, reticulate, glabrous, resinous, dehiscing elastically; seed-partitions pithy. Seeds oblique, broadly oblong- to ±oblong-elliptic or ±ovate, 6–7 mm long, brownish black; pleurogram fine, with yellowish halo, the outer band pitted; areole open, depressed.

Widespread in tropical W.A., N.T. and Qld between 17ºS and 24ºS, and W of 139ºE. Grows usually in mallee-spinifex communities and in stony spinifex grasslands, also in shrub-steppes and along watercourses, in deep red sands and skeletal soils on lateritic plains. Flowers late Feb.–July.

The width of the phyllodes is very variable in this species, but most are narrow (1.5–6 mm); G.Chippendale NT5613 is an example of a specimen with shorter (5.5–8 cm long), broader (to 9 mm wide) phyllodes. In the Pilbara region of W.A., this species hybridises with A. trachycarpa , fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 4: 405; 406, fig. 13 (1983). Note: In WATTLE this hybrid is keyed and described separately, as A. ancistrocarpa x trachycarpa . Possibly also hybridizes with A. orthocarpa in the Pilbara. Acacia sphaerostachya is probably a hybrid between A. ancistrocarpa and A. stellaticeps .

Details of ecology, utilisation, etc. of A. ancistrocarpa are given in J.W.Turnbull (ed.), Multipurpose Austral. Trees & Shrubs 98 (1986). Details of Aboriginal use are given by P.Latz, Bushfires & Bushtucker 87 (1995).

Type of accepted name

Between Minderoo and Globe Hill, Ashburton R., W.A., 29 Sept. 1905, A.Morrison ; lecto: NSW, fide P.G.Kodela, Telopea 7: 420 (1998): isolecto: E n.v ., K, PERTH n.v .; Barrow Creek, N.T., May 1922, S.A.White 81 ; paralecto: K, MEL n.v ., NSW; Darwin to Pine Creekk, N.T., Aug. 1914, H.I.Jensen, per C.E.F.Allen 209 ; paralecto: NSW.


Racosperma ancistrocarpum (Maiden & Blakely) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 344 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia pachycarpa F.Muell. ex Benth., Fl. Austral . 2: 408 (1864), p.p. , not as to lectotype, as to F.Mueller 89 (K, MEL, flowering specimens), fide L.Pedley, Contr. Queensland Herb . 15: 13 (1974).

Doubtful name

Acacia proxima Maiden: see Doubtful Names.


F.Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 12 [pl. 1], figs 1–8 (1888), as A. pachycarpa ; B.R.Maslin in J.Jessop (ed.), Fl. Centr. Australia 125, fig. 161I (1981); A.Urban, Wildfl. Pl. Centr. Australia 84 (1990).

Representative collections

W.A.: S of Yanrey Stn turnoff, A.M.Ashby 5191 (NSW, PERTH); West Hardman R., M.Lazarides 6498 (CANB, NSW). N.T.: 16.9 miles [27.2 km] N [of] Tanami, G.Chippendale (NSW, NT5613); 4 miles [6.4 km] W of Frewena Roadhouse, Barkly Hwy, T.Must 529 (NSW, NT). Qld: 3 miles [4.8 km] SE of Barkly Downs Stn, R.A.Perry 739 (CANB, 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: Thursday 22 June 2023