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Acacia drummondii

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Acacia drummondii Lindley (as ‘Drummondi’), Sketch Ver. Swan R. xv (1839)

Drummond’s Wattle

Shrub usually 0.2- 2 m high. Branchlet indumentum variable, rarely absent. Stipules 1- 4 mm long. Pinnae 1- 4 pairs, 2- 10 mm long (proximal pinnae), 4- 20 mm long (distal pinnae); petiole 0.5- 5 mm long; rachis 2- 20 mm long; pinnules 2- 3 pairs (proximal pinnae), 2- 7 pairs (distal pinnae), oblong to narrowly oblong or obovate, 3- 12 mm long, 1- 6 mm wide, obliquely narrowed at apex, flat or revolute, green or glaucous, glabrous or hairy; gland on petiole and/or rachis at base of pinnae, sessile. Inflorescences simple, normally 1 per axil; peduncles 10- 30 mm long, rarely glabrous; spikes 10- 40 mm long, pale yellow to golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 1/2- 3/4-united; petals glabrous or hairy. Pods narrowly oblong, 1.5- 5 cm long, 3.5- 8 mm wide, with indumentum variable. Seeds transverse to oblique, oblong to elliptic, 2- 3.5 mm long.

Occurs in south-western W.A., from near Mt Lesueur S to Albany, also Fitzgerald R. Natl Park.

Acacia drummondii , A. varia and A. luteola comprise the ‘A. drummondii group’, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 394 (1975) and P.Guinet, et al. , Bot. J. Linn. Soc . 80: 53- 68 (1980). A very polymorphic species. The four subspecies recognised may ultimately be shown to warrant species status.


1 Pinnae consistently 1 pair

subsp. candolleana

1: Pinnae 2- 4 pairs

2 Gland absent from rachis, present on petiole; shrub to 1 m high

3 Pinnules flat, glaucous

subsp. drummondii

3: Pinnules recurved to revolute, green

subsp. affinis

2: Gland present on rachis, present or absent on petiole; shrub 1- 4 m high

subsp. elegans


Acacia drummondii Lindl. subsp. drummondii

Shrub 0.2- 0.6 m high, occasionally prostrate. Branchlets finely and often sparsely appressed-puberulous with retrorse or sometimes antrorse hairs, rarely glabrous. Pinnae mostly 2 pairs, usually 2- 5 mm long (proximal pinnae) and 4- 10 mm long (distal pinnae); rachis usually 2- 3 mm long; pinnules usually 2- 3 pairs, narrowly oblong, usually 3- 6 mm long, 1- 2 mm wide, flat, glaucous, glabrous; gland on petiole, absent from rachis. Peduncles with indumentum as on branchlets. Petals glabrous. Pods sparsely appressed-puberulous.

Occurs from Moora S to Boyup Brook and also around Mt Lesueur, W.A. If the locality of Vasse R. given on the Molloy syntype is correct then the subspecies is more widespread than contemporary collections indicate. Grows in often lateritic loam or clay, usually in Wandoo ( Eucalyptus wandoo ) woodland and, near Mt Lesueur, in heath.

Prostrate variants occur in a few places (e.g. between York and The Lakes Roadhouse, J.Seabrook , PERTH00776009) and these are sometimes sympatric with the typical variant. Specimens from the Mt Lesueur area have larger than normal leaves, viz . proximal pinnae 5- 10 mm long, distal pinnae 10- 15 mm long, rachis 3- 5 mm long, pinnules 2- 4 pairs, 5- 12 mm long (e.g. R.J.Hnatiuk 770780 , PERTH).

Type of accepted name

Swan R., W.A., 1839, J.Drummond s.n. ; lecto: CGE; isolecto: K; ?isolecto: MEL49354, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 464 (1975); Vasse R., W.A., 1839, Mrs Molloy ; paralecto: CGE, K.


Acacia drummondii var. typica E.Pritz., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 35: 313 (1904), nom. inval.


B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 466, fig. 28 (1975).

Representative collections

W.A.: Western Australia, J.Drummond 315 (G, K, MEL, OXF, P, PERTH); Darling Ra., L.Preiss 901 (C, FI, GOET, G-DC, HBG, K, L, LUND, M, MEL, MO, NY, P, PERTH, STR).


Acacia drummondii subsp. affinis (Maslin) Maslin, Nuytsia 2: 358 (1979)

Shrub 0.3- 1 m high. Branchlet indumentum variable. Pinnae 2 pairs, 5- 10 mm long (proximal pinnae), 5- 15 mm long (distal pinnae); pinnules 2- 6 pairs (distal pinnae), 3- 10 mm long, 1- 1.5 mm wide, recurved to revolute, green, densely pubescent or sparsely hirsutellous; gland on petiole, absent from rachis. Peduncles puberulous with appressed or patent hairs. Pods sparsely hirsutellous or densely pubescent-villous.

Occurs from New Norcia S to Bullsbrook East, W.A. Grows in laterite or sand over laterite, in Jarrah ( Eucalyptus marginata ), Jarrah- Marri ( E. marginata - Corymbia calophylla ) and sometimes Wandoo ( E. wandoo ) forest and woodland.

The subspecies comprises two variants distinguishable by their indumentum. Some plants from Bindoon- New Norcia area have densely villous-pubescent branchlets, pinnules and pods, peduncles with patent hairs and hairy petals (e.g. R.J.Garraty 153 , MEL, PERTH). In the typical variant the branchlets are pilose and puberulous-hirsutellous admixed or occasionally retrorsely appressed-puberulous, the pinnules and pods sparsely hirsutellous, the peduncles retrorsely appressed-puberulous and the petals glabrous.

Type of accepted name

Near 39 mile peg on Great Northern Hwy [c. 17.5 km S of Bindoon], W.A., 20 Aug. 1972, B.R.Maslin 2793 ; holo: PERTH; iso: CANB, K.


Acacia varia var. affinis Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 461; 462, fig. 26 & 490, map 9 (1975). Type: as for accepted name.


B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 462, fig. 26 (1975), as A. varia var. affinis .

Representative collections

W.A.: c. 5 km due ENE of Muchea, B.R.Maslin 3218 (BRI, NSW, NY, PERTH); Swan district, E.Pritzel 395 (AD, DBN, E, K, L, LY, M, MO, NSW, P).


Acacia drummondii subsp. candolleana (Meisn.) Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 467; 468, fig. 29 & 491, map 10 (1975)

Shrub 0.3- 1 (- 2) m high. Branchlets appressed-puberulous to subglabrous, the hairs antrorse. Pinnae 1 pair, 4- 10 mm long; pinnules 2- 4 pairs, oblong to narrowly oblong or obovate, 5- 12 mm long, 3- 6 mm wide, green or glaucous, glabrous; gland on petiole. Peduncles usually appressed-puberulous with antrorse hairs. Petals glabrous. Pods shortly villous to subglabrous.

Sporadic from New Norcia S to Collie with a disjunct population in Fitzgerald R. Natl Park, W.A. Usually grows in sandy or loamy laterite, in Jarrah ( Eucalyptus marginata ) forest or Wandoo ( E. wandoo ) woodland.

Specimens from Fitzgerald R. Natl Park differ from those elsewhere in having patent hairs on the peduncles.

Readily distinguished from the other subspecies by pinnae consistently 1 pair.

Type of accepted name

Swan R., W.A., J.Drummond [2:] 152 ; holo: (BM, sheet labelled herb. Shuttleworth), fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 403 (1994); iso: CGE, K, G-DC, LD, MEL, NSW, OXF, P, PERTH.


Acacia candolleana Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 2: 206 (1848); A. drummondii var. major Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 419 (1864); A. drummondii var. candolleana (Meisn.) Domin, Vestn. Kral. Ceske Spolecn. Nauk, Tr. Mat.-Prir. 2: 48 (1923). Type: as for accepted name.


B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 468, fig. 29 (1975).

Representative collections

W.A.: c. 10 km E of Darkin Swamp, c. 45 km due NW of Brookton, B.R.Maslin 6332 (CANB, PERTH); Thumb Peak, Fitzgerald R. Natl Park, K.Newbey 3420 (CANB, PERTH).


Acacia drummondii subsp. elegans Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 468; 469, fig. 30 & 491, map 10 (1975)

Shrub usually 1- 2 m high. Branchlets ribbed, appressed-puberulous to subglabrous, the hairs antrorse. Pinnae usually 2 pairs, 5- 20 mm long (distal pinnae); rachis 3- 8 mm long, to 20 mm long on 3-jugate leaves; pinnules usually 2- 4 pairs, oblong to narrowly oblong or obovate, 5- 12 mm long, usually 2- 4 mm wide, flat or slightly recurved, green, glabrous to subglabrous; gland on rachis, often also on petiole. Peduncles puberulous with patent or antrorsely appressed hairs. Petals commonly hairy. Pods puberulous with antrorsely curved or appressed hairs.

Common in the Stirling Ra.- Albany area, but probably introduced to the Wannamal- Toodyay- Kalamunda area, W.A. Favours loam or sand in winter wet depressions in forest and woodland dominated by Jarrah ( Eucalyptus marginata ), Marri ( Corymbia calophylla ) and Wandoo ( E. wandoo ), also rocky slopes in heath and scrub on higher slopes of Stirling Ra. and, near Perth, on laterite.

Plants from the Porongurup Ra. reach 4 m high and have distal pinnae with up to 7 pairs of narrowly oblong pinnules 1- 2 mm wide (e.g. R.J.Cumming 938 , PERTH). The entity described as A. pelloiae is probably a montane variant restricted to the Stirling Ra.

Popular in cultivation and usually considered as being ‘typical’ A. drummondii.

Type of accepted name

35.5 km from Denmark towards Mount Barker, W.A., 21 Sept. 1972, B.R.Maslin 2958 ; holo: PERTH; iso: CANB, K, NY.


Acacia pseudodrummondii Hrincq, Bull. Soc. Hort. Seine 11: 194 (1853). Type: cultivated, Jardin de Chantin, May 1853, Anonymous ; holo: P (specimen determined by H)rincq as Acacia pseudodrummondii ).

Acacia pelloiae C.A.Gardner, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. W. Australia 9: 40 (1923). Type: Bluff Knoll, 200 feet from the summit, Stirling Ra., W.A., Oct. 1922, Mrs Pelloe , herb. C.A.Gardner 626a ; holo: PERTH.


W.J.Hooker, Bot. Mag. t. 5191 (1860); B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 469, fig. 30 (1975); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 299 & pl. 3 (1981).

Representative collections

W.A.: Cape Riche, G.J.Keighery 7021 (PERTH); base of Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ra., B.R.Maslin 1122 (MEL, NSW, PERTH); c. 12 km S of Bindoon, M.D.Tindale 2624 (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