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Acacia bidwillii

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Acacia bidwillii Benth. (as ‘Bidwilii’), Linnaea 26: 629 (1855)

Corkwood Wattle , Dogwood

Shrub or tree 1.5–10 m high; branches sometimes pendulous. Bark corky, furrowed. Branchlets with scattered hairs to glabrous, sometimes pubescent. Stipular spines to 2 mm long, often inconspicuous, to 12 mm long on young plants. Leaves: petiole 0.4–1 cm long, pubescent above, mostly with a raised gland at base of lowest pair of pinnae; rachis 1.5–9 (–12.5) cm long, sparsely to moderately pubescent mainly above, eglandular; pinnae (3–) 4–15 (–25) pairs, 0.6–4.2 cm long; pinnules (6–) 15–25 (–30) pairs, oblong to narrowly oblong or elliptic to narrowly elliptic, mostly 1–3.7 mm long and 0.5–1.1 mm wide, obtuse, discolorous, ciliate usually only at base, with raised midnerve below. Inflorescences simple, 1 or 2 (–3) in axils, or sometimes on a raceme-like shoot that extends with growth; peduncles 15–40 mm long, with involucel of bracts 1/2–2/3 way above base; heads globular, 13–20-flowered, whitish to cream-coloured, sometimes pale yellow. Pods narrowly oblong to linear or narrowly elliptic, straight-sided or slightly constricted between some or all seeds, flat or slightly raised over seeds, 3–15 cm long, 8–16 (–19) mm wide, firmly crustaceous to coriaceous, longitudinally and often reticulately nerved, glabrous.

Common in the Burnett and Port Curtis districts of Qld, but ranging as far N as Mt Carbine and with a western disjunction in the Mount Isa area; often occurs as a scattered understorey tree in grassy, open eucalypt woodland, as well as growing in open forest, Acacia woodland or sometimes shrubland, in clay, loam, sandy or stony soils, on plains or on valley floors, slopes and ridges in undulating to hilly country, also in skeletal soils on rocky slopes. Flowers mainly Nov. and Dec., sometimes Apr.–Oct., also sporadic; fruits (Dec.–) Apr.–Oct.

A variable species requiring further systematic study. Specimens not included in the above description include S.L.Everist & L.S.Smith 206 from ‘10 miles past Duchess on Mount Isa Road’ (BRI) which has pods to c. 21 cm long, and R.G.Coveny 6913 & P.Hind from ‘77 km by road NW of Marlborough towards St Lawrence’ (BRI, CANB, DNA, K, MEL, MO, NSW, PERTH) which has rachises to 14.5 cm long with up to c. 40 pairs of pinnae. Acacia leptoclada var. polyphylla has well developed stipular spines to 6 mm long and leaves with smaller pinnules than usual, which are probably characteristics of juvenile plants, fide L.Pedley, pers. comm.

See A. valida .

Acacia bidwillii var. polytricha Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 273, 1926 (Type: Nord-Queensland: Savannenwalder bei Mungana, Feb. 1910, Domin ; holo: PR n.v .), will be described as a new species by L.Pedley. It differs from A. bidwillii in its leaves being villose, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 310 (1979). This undescribed species occurs in low hilly country in the south-central part of Cape York Peninsula, Qld (e.g. J.R.Clarkson 3585 , NSW, n.v .: BRI, ILL, K, MEL, MO, NSW, NT, PERTH, PR, QRS; L.Pedley 1849 , BRI n.v ., NSW), and its geographic range abuts that of A. ditricha which occurs in country of lower relief, fide L.Pedley, pers. comm. Note: In anticipation of Pedley's treatment, this taxon is treated here in WATTLE as a distinct species, A. clarksoniana .

An unpublished species related to A. bidwillii occurs in the Douglas-Daly Rivers area, N.T. ( A . ‘Douglas R.’ in C.R.Dunlop et al ., Fl. Darwin Region 2: 20; 10, fig. 4, 1995), and differs by having more pinnules per pinna and the pinnules being smaller, e.g . M.Parker 508 (BRI n.v ., CANB, DNA n.v ., NSW, NT), M.O.Rankin 1232 (NSW, n.v .: BRI, CANB, DNA, K, MEL, NT, PERTH), M.D.Tindale 6098 & C.Dunlop (A, AD, BRI, CANB, K, MEL, PERTH, TL, UNSW, US), fide L.Pedley, pers. comm. Previously it has been treated as a possible variant of A. ditricha , but is distinguished by slightly longer pinnae with less crowded, longer pinnules to 2.2 mm long. Note: This taxon is treated in WATTLE as a distinct species, A. douglasica .

In J.W.Turnbull (ed.), Multipurpose Austral. Trees & Shrubs 112 (1986) there is an account of A. bidwillii before it was split into several species, while a more recent brief account is given in J.C.Doran & J.W.Turnbull (eds), Austral. Trees & Shrubs: species for land rehabilitation & farm planting in the tropics 346 (1997). The roots of young trees were roasted and eaten by Aborigines, and young plants may be browsed by cattle, fide E.Anderson, Pl. Central Queensland 22 (1993).

Type of accepted name

Ad Wide Bay, NE Australia, [Qld], Australiae boreali-orientalis, Bidwill [?]93 ; holo: K.


Acacia leptoclada var. (?) polyphylla Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 416 (1864). Type: East Coast, Qld, 1802–5, R . Brown [Bennett no. 4331] ; ?syn: ?BM n.v. , K (photo NSW).

Acacia bidwillii var. bidwillii , Fl. Austral . 2: 420 (1864), autonym.


F.Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 12 [pl. 4] (1888), branchlet with inflorescences and components of flowers (rest of the plate probably A. valida ); E.Anderson, loc. cit. ; S.Pearson & A.Pearson, Pl. Central Queensland 22 (n.d.).

Representative collections

Qld: 9 miles [14.5 km] SSE of Yarrowmere Stn, Adams 986 (AD, BRI, CANB, K, NSW, PERTH); 8.2 km by road NNW of Many Peaks towards Nagoorin, R.G.Coveny 6848 & P.Hind (BRI, CANB, K, MEL, MO, NSW, PERTH); 13.2 km c. S of Lakeland Downs toward Palmer R., R.G.Coveny 6977 & P.Hind (BRI, CANB, K, MEL, NSW); 5 miles [8 km] SE of Batheaston HS, M.Lazarides & Story 77 (BRI, CANB, MEL, NSW); Gympie–Goomeri road, 31 Oct. 1960, M.D.Tindale s.n. (BRI, CANB, MEL, NSW, 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: Thursday 22 June 2023