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Acacia irrorata

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Acacia irrorata Sieber ex Spreng., Syst. Veg . 16th edn, 3: 141 (1826)

Blueskin , Green Wattle

Erect shrub or tree to 12 m high. Bark smooth, later rough, green, dark grey, dark brown or black. Branchlets strongly ridged; ridges 0.2–0.5 mm high, either with tubercles bearing bristle-like hairs in the juvenile and mature stages or with tubercles only in the juvenile stages and bearing crisped hairs. Young foliage-tips golden, greenish yellow or orange, velvety-tomentellous. Leaves herbaceous, dark green; petiole above pulvinus 0.7–2 cm long; rachis 2-11 cm long, with urceolate or saccate jugary glands at base of some pairs of pinnae, interjugary glands absent; pinnae 5–21 (–26) pairs, 1.5–4.5 (–5) cm long; pinnules 15–72 pairs, very crowded, imbricate, mostly 2–5 mm long, 0.4–0.7 mm wide, upper surface glabrous, lower surface glabrous or with white or pale yellow crisped hairs, ciliate. Inforescences in axillary racemes, or axillary or terminal false-panicles. Heads 15–50-flowered, cream-coloured to pale yellow, rarely deeper yellow. Corolla dissected by 1/5- 1/2. Pods submoniliform, 2–12 cm long, 5–11.5 mm wide, coriaceous, veined, black, scabrous or non-scabrous, appressed-hairy, later glabrescent.

Extends from south-eastern Qld through coastal and central N.S.W., rare in Vic. and probably introduced into Tas.

There are 2 subspecies. No intermediates have been observed, although these 2 subspecies are morphologically close.

Jugary glands urceolate with small orifices, present mostly at terminal and lowest pair of pinnae, rarely at base of upper 2–4 pairs; tubercles borne on juvenile and mature plants and bearing stiff hairs

subsp. irrorata

Jugary glands saccate with large orifices, present at uppermost 1–4 and lowest pairs of pinnae; tubercles borne only on juvenile plants (mature plants bearing crisped hairs)

subsp. velutinella


Acacia irrorata Sieber ex Spreng. subsp. irrorata

Tree to 12 m high. Bark of trunk smooth, later rough, dark grey, dark brown or black. Branchlets with tubercles on the ridges in juvenile and mature plants. Young foliage-tips golden, greenish yellow or rarely orange. Leaf petioles and rachises with fawn stiff hairs and brown or fawn, round, urceolate glands (with small orifices) at the uppermost 1 or rarely 2–4 pairs of pinnae and sometimes at lowest pair; pinnules white-ciliate, otherwise glabrous. Corolla dissected to 1/5- 1/6 of its length. Pods scabrous, appressed-hairy at first. 2 n = 26, B.G.Briggs, on M.D.Tindale s.n. (NSW64669).

Extends from Gympie, south-eastern Qld, through the coast and eastern region of N.S.W. (as far W as Gunnedah and S to Bermagui); rare in Vic. in East Gippsland, and probably introduced in Tas. where there are old records from the Hobart-Orford area. Grows on rainforest margins, open forest, scrub-forest, in valleys or on hillsides, often in sandy or volcanic soils. Flowers anytime of the year; fruits Sept.–Dec.

On the North Coast, N.S.W., A. irrorata subsp. irrorata is largely replaced by subsp. velutinella . The bark of subsp. irrorata is thin and the tannin content inferior to that of A. mearnsii .

Type of accepted name

Not designated ['Nov. Holl.' in protologue]


Racosperma irroratum (Sieber ex Spreng.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 350 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia decurrens f. pauciglandulosa F.Muell. ex Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 415 (1864). Type: Hastings R., N.S.W., F.Mueller ; syn: K; between Archer’s and McKenzie’s stations, ?Qld, L.Leichhardt ; syn: K; Tenterfield (New England), N.S.W., C.Stuart ; syn: K; Clarence R., N.S.W.; syn: n.v. ; Moreton Bay, Qld; syn: n.v.


J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 3: pl. 88A- C (1907); D.A.Morrison & S.J.Davies, in G.J.Harden (ed.), Fl. New South Wales 2: 392, fig. 214a (1991); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 184, fig. 210a- f; pl. 210a (1992).

Representative collections

Qld: Cunninghams Gap, 29 July 1988, D.A.Saladine & G.J.White (AD, CANB, MEL, NE, NSW); 1.6 km S of Wondai, M.D.Tindale s.n. (NSW52680). N.S.W.: 2.4 km E of Hwy 1 on Durras track, M.Evans 2776 (A, AD, CANB, K, L, MEL, NSW, PERTH); 6 km S of Bateman’s Bay, A.N.Rodd 4265 (BRI, MEL, NSW). Vic.: Croajingalong Natl Park, c. 4 km SW of Mt Everard, J.G.Eichler (MEL, NSW256002). Tas.: Mt Wellington, J.H.Maiden (NSW53105).


Acacia irrorata subsp. velutinella Tindale Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales ser. 2, 91: 147 (1966)

Tree to 10 m high. Bark smooth, green or black with grey streaks. Young foliage-tips dark yellow or orange. Branchlets with tubercles on the ridges only present on very young plants. Leaf petioles and rachises tomentellous with crisped, white or yellow hairs and with dark brown, saccate, jugary glands (with large orifices) at uppermost 1–4 pairs and sometimes lowest pair of pinnae; pinnules sparsely clothed with crisped, white, fawn or yellow hairs on lower surface and margins. Corolla dissected to 1/2. Pods non-scabrous, slightly tuberculate, with scattered crisped hairs. 2 n = 26, B.G.Briggs, Proc. Linn. Soc . New South Wales 91: 146 (1966).

Endemic to the North Coast, N.S.W., from the Border Loop S to Gloucester. Grows in open or tall open forest, rainforest margins, along watercourses or in swampy land. Flowers mainly Dec.–Mar.

Type of accepted name

11 miles [17.7 km] S of Coffs Habour, N.S.W, 5 Nov. 1960, M.D.Tindale s.n ; holo: NSW; iso: A, K, MEL, US.


Acacia decurrens var. b Maiden, Agric. Gaz. New South Wales 5: 607 (1895). Type: Bostobrick, Dec. 1893, J.H.Maiden ; holo: ?NSW.


D.A.Morrison & S.J.Davies, in G.J.Harden (ed.), Fl. New South Wales 2: 392, No. 215b (1991); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 184, fig. 210g- l; pl. 210b (1992).

Representative collections

N.S.W.: Gill’s Ck Kempsey, E.F.Constable 4922 (NSW); between Coramba and Ulong, A.Floyd s.n. (NSW53516); Colombatti State Forest, c. 32.2 km direct NW of Kempsey, A.T.Johnson & L.A.S.Johnson 8391 (CANB, K, NSW, NY); 70.8 km NW of Grafton, M.D.Tindale s.n. & D.R.Brooks (NSW84000); Bellinger R. Bridge, Urunga, M.D.Tindale s.n. (NSW8149).


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