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Acacia cyperophylla

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Acacia cyperophylla F.Muell. ex Benth., Fl. Austral . 2: 400 (1864 )

Creekline Miniritchi, Red Mulga

Multistemmed, resinous shrub or usually tree to 12 m high. Bark ‘Minni Ritchi’, reddish or salmon-coloured. Branchlets spreading-erect or pendulous, grey-waxy over reddish surface, glabrous or sparsely appressed-pubescent. Phyllodes erect or pendulous, straight or shallowly curved, terete to subterete, rarely flat, 7–28 cm long, normally 0.8–2 mm wide, appressed-puberulous (often sparsely so), pungently pointed, finely multistriate, with numerous parallel, closely-spaced, inconspicuous, non-anastomosing longitudinal nerves; gland 1, minute, basal. Spikes 1–3 cm long, interrupted, pale yellow. Flowers 5-merous; calyx 0.8–1.5 mm long, dissected by 1/3 to 1/4, fimbriolate or sparsely pubescent; corolla 1.5–2.3 mm long, dissected to c. 1/2, glabrous; ovary glabrous or finely tomentose towards apex. Pods narrowly oblong to linear, flat, straight-sided or slightly constricted between seeds, 4–16 cm long, subwoody, glabrous or with short hairs usually encrusted with resin (possibly becomes glabrescent), with anastomosing, longitudinal nerves; margins not significantly thickened. Seeds longitudinal to oblique, elliptic to rhombic, flat, 8.3–10.5 mm long, with marginal ridge encircling seed, the open, paler areole 0.8–2.2 mm long.

Occurs in arid regions of Australia, in W.A., N.T., S.A. and Qld.

J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 6(10): 272–277, pl. 227 (1917), discussed the confusion surrounding the name A. cyperophylla . See also B.R.Maslin, W. Austral. Naturalist 18: 185–186 (1991). Acacia cyperophylla is related to an undescribed taxon of uncertain rank from the Pilbara region which is noted under A. rhodophloia . Also related to A. grasbyi which is most readily distinguished by its shorter, nonpungent phyllodes.

There are two varieties.

Ultimate branchlets not pendulous, phyllodes erect; pods commonly 4–5.5 mm wide (6–9 mm in eastern Australia)

var. cyperophylla

Ultimate branchlets and phyllodes pendulous; pods 7–9 mm wide

var. omearana

Acacia cyperophylla Benth. var. cyperophylla

Branchlets spreading-erect; phyllodes erect, rigid; pods 5–16 cm long, 4–9 (–10) mm wide.

Widespread in arid areas of W.A., N.T., S.A. and Qld, from 22S to 29S, and 135E to 143E. Grows usually in dry or cracking clay, stony soils or sand, often along watercourses, in grassland or open woodlands. Flowers May–Dec., sporadic probably after good rains.

The phyllodes are more rigid than those of var. omearana , as well as being erect and borne on spreading branchlets.

Type of accepted name

Cooper’s Creek, S.A., 1858, A.C.Gregory ; lecto: MEL, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 126 (1978); isolecto: NSW, PERTH. Paralectotype: see A. curranii .


Racosperma cyperophyllum (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 347 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.


Illustrations: F.Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 10 [pl. 6] (1888), as to central twig, fide J.H.Maiden, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 49: 494 (1916); J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 7(10): pl. 227 (1917); A.A.Mitchell & D.G.Wilcox, Arid Shrubland Pl. Western Australia 272 & 273 (1988); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 269 & 271 (1992); K.A.W.Williams, Native Pl. Queensland 4: 15 (1999).

Representative collections

W.A.: near Byro HS turnoff, Mullewa–Gascoyne road, B.R.Maslin 5173 (NSW, PERTH). N.T.: Kelly Ck, Tobermorey, G.Chippendale (NSW, NT1793). S.A.: Warinna, May 1891, R.Helms (NSW); N of Innamincka Stn, P.L.Milthorpe 3758 & G.H.Cunningham (NSW); N of Macumba Dam, D.E.Symon 9153 (ADW, CANB, K, L, NSW). Qld: c. 64 km SW of Winton, I.V.Newman 498 (BRI, NSW); 79 km E of Birdsville, J.Pickard 1766 (NSW).

Acacia cyperophylla var. omearana Maslin, W. Austral. Naturalist 18: 186, fig.1 (1991)

Branchlets and non-rigid phyllodes pendulous; pods 4–13 cm long, 7–9 mm wide.

Known from very few populations in the eastern Pilbara, N of the Hamersley Ra., W.A. Grows along drainage lines in stony, skeletal sandy alluvium in open low woodland of Eucalyptus camaldulensis .

Type of accepted name

Pilbara region, W.A., 31 Mar. 1984, K.Newbey 10094 ; holo: PERTH; iso: AD, BRI, CANB, DNA, G, K, MEL, MO, NSW, NY, Z.


B.R. Maslin, loc. cit .

Representative collections

W.A.: type locality, L.Thomson LXT1151 (PERTH); loc. id ., P.G.Wilson 992 & R.Rowe (BRI, CANB, MO, 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