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Acacia gunnii

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Acacia gunnii Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 332 (1842)

Ploughshare Wattle , Dog’s Tooth Wattle

Diffuse shrub, prostrate or erect, to 1 m high. Branchlets normally hirsutellous, infrequently glabrous. Stipules persistent. Phyllodes sessile, patent to inclined, inequilateral, shape variable, usually a pronounced rounded or triangular gland-angle on adaxial margin near or below middle, 4–15 mm long, 1.5–4 mm wide, l:w usually 1.5–5, acuminate, pungent, rigid, glabrous or hirsutellous, green; midrib prominent, central or near lower margin. Inflorescences simple, normally 1 per axil; peduncles normally 4–10 mm long, glabrous or hairy; basal bracts 3; heads globular, 20–30-flowered, cream to pale yellow; bracteoles acuminate. Flowers 5-merous; sepals c. 2/3-united; petals often prominently 1-nerved. Pods to 4 cm long, 4–5 mm wide, firmly chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, dark brown to blackish, glabrous, sometimes hairy. Seeds longitudinal to oblique, broadly elliptic to spherical, c. 3 mm long, variably mottled, exarillate; funicle filiform.

Widespread and sometimes locally abundant in eastern Australia on the Great Divide and its associated slopes from the Grampians, Vic., through N.S.W. and A.C.T. to near Stanthorpe, Qld; also in S.A. in the Adelaide Hills and Southeastern region, and in N and E Tas. Grows in Eucalyptus open forest or (in Tas.) coastal heath.

Although the name A. vomeriformis has been generally used for this species F.Mueller, J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 3:119 (1859), first placed A. vomeriformis in synonymy under A. gunnii and he must be followed.

Phyllodes are very variable, ranging in shape from semi-trullate, lanceolate or broadly to narrowly triangular, but the normally prominent gland-angle on their adaxial margin serves to distinguish the species from other members of the ‘ A. ulicifolia group’. However, on some specimens, especially from N.S.W., the phyllodes are very narrow and the gland-angle is much-reduced, making them difficult to distinguish from A. ulicifolia (e.g. Tianjara Falls, N.S.W., E.F.Constable 6989 , NSW). These two species are sometimes sympatric and possible hybrids between them are reported by T.J.Entwistle et al. , in N.G.Walsh & T.J.Entwistle (eds), Fl. Victoria 3: 630 (1996). Specimens with rather elongate phyllodes (l:w = 7.5) occur with the normal form in the Blue Mtns, N.S.W. Some forms resemble A. amblygona .

Type of accepted name

Tasmania, R.C.Gunn 423 , ex herb. Bentham; lecto: K, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 241 (1980); isolecto: MPU, NSW, PERTH, W; Vineyard, N.S.W., K.Hugel ; paralecto: K, W; Argyle county, N.S.W., Apr. 1824, A.Cunningham s.n. ; paralecto: K; Macquarie Ra., N.S.W., A.Cunningham 407 ; paralecto: K.


Racosperma gunnii (Benth.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 349 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia vomeriformis A.Cunn. ex Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 332 (1842). Type: Banks of the Macquarie R., N.S.W., C.Fraser s.n. ; holo: K.

Acacia gunnii var. hirsutior Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 332 (1842). Type: Blue Mtns, N.S.W., C.Fraser ; n.v.

Acacia gunnii var. angustifolia Benth., Linnaea 26: 608 (1855). Type: Tasmania, C.Stuart 6 ; holo: K.


N.T.Burbidge & M.Gray, Fl. Austral. Cap. Terr. 199, fig. 193C (1970), as A. vomeriformis ; G.M.Cunningham et al ., Pl. W New South Wales 362 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 123, fig. 127, pl. 127 (1992); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 93 (1992).

Representative collections

S.A.: near Eagle on hill, Adelaide Hills, 27 July 1972, B.R.Maslin s.n. (AD, NSW, PERTH). Qld: Amiens near Stanthorpe, J.Harslett in G.Ward 389 (BRI). N.S.W.: 4.8 km S of Peelwood, E.F.Constable 4113 (NSW, PERTH). A.C.T.: Mid-east slope of Black Mtn, Canberra, R.Pullen 2102 (BRI). Vic.: Grampians, Aug. 1902, H.B.Williamson s.n. (NSW). Tas.: Hobart, L.Rodway s.n. (NSW).


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