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Acacia cognata

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Acacia cognata Domin, Biblioth. Bot . 89: 260 (1926)

Narrow-leaf Bower Wattle , Bower Wattle

Shrub or tree 3–10 m high, viscid. Branchlets willowy and arching to pendulous, commonly glabrous with longitudinal resinous bands alternating with green to brown ribs. Phyllodes narrowly linear to linear-elliptic, 5–10 cm long, usually 1–3.5 mm wide, l:w = 20- 70, thin, dark green to yellowish green, resinous-punctate, glabrous except margins typically antrorsely puberulous, normally 3-nerved per face with the central nerve clearly the most prominent (the 2 flanking nerves often scarcely visible); lateral nerves few, obscure, occasionally anastomosing. Inflorescences simple, 2 per axil; peduncles normally 3–6 mm long, appressed-puberulous; basal bract persistent; heads globular, 4–5 mm diam., 10–17-flowered, pale lemon yellow. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods linear, to 10 cm long, 2–4 mm wide, chartaceous, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 4–4.5 mm long, dull, dark brown; aril terminal.

Occurs in south-eastern Australia on the coastal plain and adjacent foothills of the Great Divide from near Nowra, N.S.W., S to near Orbost, Vic. Grows in moist gullies and on hillsides in lowland sclerophyll forest, on sandstone and in soils derived from granite.

Some of the phyllodes on R.Coveny 2921 (MEL, NSW) are up to 4.5 mm wide, but those on R.Coveny 2922 , collected in the same general area, are uniformly narrower. The number of main nerves varies because the longitudinally trending secondary nerves sometimes coalesce to form weaker, secondary nerves.

Frequently cultivated in Vic.

Closely allied to A. subporosa which has less pendulous branches and branchlets, broader phyllodes with more nerves per face, commonly longer peduncles, larger heads with more flowers and slightly wider pods; the two are sympatric at Twofold Bay, the type locality for both species, where they may possibly intergrade, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 78 (1995). A member of the A. verniciflua complex and sometimes confused with A. leprosa (Dandenong variant) . The W.A. species A. vittata has the same sort of branchlet resinosity alternating with longitudinal non-resinous bands, but it is distinguished especially by its wider, multi-nerved phyllodes, more flowers per head, smaller pods and shorter seeds. Also similar to A. veronica and A. viscidula , both of which have 4-merous flowers.

Type of accepted name

Twofold Bay, N.S.W., F.Mueller s.n .; lecto: K, lower right-hand specimen on herb. Hooker sheet, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 77 (1995); isolecto: PERTH (Fragment ex K); paralecto: K, upper right and left-hand specimens on lectotype sheet, and probable duplicate on MEL1528769 and PERTH01504746 (Fragment ex K).


Acacia cognata is based on the following: Acacia subporosa var. linearis Benth., Fl. Austral . 2: 382 (1864). Type: as for accepted name.


F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 7 [pl. 8] (1887), as to narrow phyllode flowering and fruiting twigs; L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 325 (1981); W.R.Elliot & D.L.Jones, Encycl. Austral. Pl. 2: 32 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 69, fig. 51, pl. 51 (1992).

Representative collections

N.S.W.: Princes Hwy, Corunna State Forest, 9.7 km S of Narooma, R.Coveny 2922 (NSW, PERTH). Vic.: Smellies Ck, Mallacoota Inlet area, A.C.Beauglehole 33738 & K.Morrison (MEL); Eleven Bob Track, 2.1 km from Mt Buck, H.van Rees 022 (MEL).


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