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Acacia calamifolia

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Acacia calamifolia Sweet ex Lindl., Bot. Reg. 10: t. 839 (Oct. 1824)

Wallowa , Reed-leaf Wattle, and more

Shrub 2–4 m high. New shoots glabrous. Phyllodes narrowly linear, terete to sub-terete, (2–) 2.5–9.5 (–10.5) cm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, shortly acuminate with delicate, curved point, green to grey-green, sometimes scurfy, glabrous, 4-nerved in all; nerves not prominent and often impressed. Inflorescences 2–8 (–14)-headed racemes which often grow out with some or all of the subsequent peduncles occurring singly within the phyllode axils (as shown by the illustration in the protologue of A. calamifolia ), raceme axis 10–25 (–50) mm long; peduncles 4–10 mm long, glabrous; heads globular to obloid, (28–) 30–44 (–46) -flowered, pale yellow to golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods moniliform to sub-moniliform, normally to c. 15 cm long, 3–6 mm wide, +/- woody to crustaceous, wrinkled, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong-elliptic, 6–9 mm long, dull to slightly shiny, dark brown to black; funicle mostly 1-folded, 1/2 encircling seed, dark reddish; aril clavate.

Occurs in S.A. in the Flinders Ranges from Mt. Hack south to near the Tothill Ranges in the Northern Loftys, the Olary Ranges to Broken Hill, and central N.S.W. A specimen from Naryilco, far south-western Qld, is presumably from a cultivated plant (e.g. G.Gardiner , AD96650304). Grows in a variety of soil types, mainly in woodland and open scrub.

Acacia calamifolia is a member of the ‘ A. microbotrya group’ and is closely related to A. nematophylla , A. subulata and A. euthycarpa (which until recently was considered conspecific with A. calamifolia ).

G.J.Leach & T.Wiffen, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 76: 53–69 (1978), have shown A. x grayana to be a hybrid between A. brachybotrya and A. calamifolia (the latter parent is now known to be A. euthycarpa ). Acacia calamifolia appears to hybridize with the Nectar Brook variant of A. wattsiana .

The Macquarie [R.], Fraser specimen cited under A. calamifolia by G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 2: 339 (1864) is A. subulata .

Type of accepted name

‘brought by Mr. John Richardson , to Mr. Colvill, from the south-west interior of New Holland’; n.v.


Acacia calamifolia G.Lodd., Bot. Cab. 10: t. 909 (Nov. 1824), nom. nud. (plate not accompanied by analysis).

Acacia pulverulenta A.Cunn. ex Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 342 (1842), nom. illeg. , non Schltdl. (1838); A. calamifolia var. pulverulenta Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 251 (1926). Type: interior of New Holland [between the Loddon R. and Pyramid Hill, Vic.], 8 July 1836, T.S.Mitchell ‘230’ ; syn: K; Mt Flinders [one of the peaks adjacent to L. Brewster which is c. 10 km S of Lachlan R. and c. 130 km N of Griffith, N.S.W.], June 1817, A.Cunningham 403 ; syn: K.


L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 309 (1981); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 355 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 161, fig. 179, pls 179 & 179a (1992).

Representative collections

S.A.: 5.5 km NW of Port Augusta on Stuart Hwy, L.Thomson LAJT 52 (PERTH); Wilpena Pound, V.Jaegermann 354 (AD, CANB, SYD); Woolshed Flat, Pichi Richi Pass, R.Schodde 961 (AD, CANB, K, G, P); Julia, 10 km NW of Eudunda, D.J.Whibley 5552 (AD, UMO, ZT); Morgan to Eudunda Rd., 2.8 km SW of Sutherlands, F.E.Davies 1391 (AD, CBG, MEL); Cathedral Rock, Bimbowrie, 29/4/1976, M.Nobbs (AD). N.S.W.: 36.8 km SSW of Rankin Springs towards Griffith, R.Coveny 2558 (PERTH).

(BRM & MO’L)

The Fl. Australia treatment of this species has been modified here in WATTLE to exclude A. euthycarpa , with is now treated as a distinct species.

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