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Acacia juncifolia

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Acacia juncifolia Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 341 (1842)

Shrub to c. 3 m high. Branchlets slender, lenticellular, dark reddish brown, glabrous. Phyllodes ascending to erect, straight to shallowly incurved, terete to subquadrangular or flat, 5–20 cm long, 0.8–3 mm wide, sometimes pungent, finely longitudinally sulcate when dry, glabrous, rather obscurely 4-nerved in all, 1-nerved per face when flat; gland 2–8 mm above pulvinus; pulvinus 1–2 mm long. Inflorescences simple and (fewer) rudimentary 1-headed racemes with axes 1–2 mm long intermixed, usually 1–2 per axil; peduncles 4–12 mm long, glabrous; basal bract persistent; heads globular, 20–30-flowered, light golden to deep golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free, linear-spathulate. Pods prominently raised over seeds, to 10 cm long, 3–4 mm wide, firmly chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, dark red-brown, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong-elliptic, 3–4.5 mm long, dull, mottled black and yellow, exarillate.

Occurs from Port Clinton [formerly Port Bowen] Qld, S to the Glenbrook area, c. 50 km W of Sydney, N.S.W.; extending inland for a maximum of 550 km. The ‘N. Australia’ specimens cited under A. juncifolia by G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 2: 339 (1864), are A. alleniana .

Acacia juncifolia , A. alleniana , A. dietrichiana , A. jasperensis and A. quadrilateralis are related by the following characters: sepals mostly free, funicle filiform and scarcely expanded into an aril or exarillate, inflorescences simple or minutely racemose, peduncles with a single, persistent basal bract, phyllodes usually very long and narrow. This ‘A. juncifolia group’ appears related to the ‘ A. murrayana group’ whose species are distinguished by their longer racemes and phyllodes with gland-bearing apices. Acacia calantha herbarium specimens have sometimes been misidentified as A. juncifolia .

Two subspecies are recognised.

Phyllodes all or mostly above 10 cm long, c. 1 mm wide, terete to subquadrangular or flat, acute, not pungent

subsp. juncifolia

Phyllodes 5- 10 cm long, 2- 3 mm wide, flat, obtuse-mucronate, pungent

subsp. serpentinicola


Acacia juncifolia Benth. subsp. juncifolia

Rush-leaf Wattle

Somewhat spindly shrub to c. 3 m high. Phyllodes filiform, terete to subquadrangular or flat, 7–20 cm long, c. 1 mm wide, not rigid, acute, with mucro indurate but not sharply pungent; midrib slightly raised when dry. Flower-heads pale yellow to deep buttercup yellow. Pods slightly to moderately constricted between seeds. Seeds 3.5–4.5 mm long.

Widespread but nowhere common from Port Clinton [formerly Port Bowen] Qld, S to the Glenbrook area, c. 50 km W of Sydney, N.S.W.; extends inland for a maximum of 550 km. Grows in shallow sand derived from sandstone or less commonly from granite, in Eucalyptus forest or woodland; in coastal areas it occurs in deep sand in heath.

Flat phyllode forms of subsp. juncifolia can be confused with A. dietrichiana . These two species are sympatric on the northern edge of the Blackdown Tableland, Qld, but A. dietrichiana has broader phyllodes and viscid branchlets which are, at least at their apices, vernicose when dry. In subsp. juncifolia the branchlets are normally non-viscid and dull when dry.

Type of accepted name

Barren lands in the NW interior [of N.S.W.], C.Fraser ; syn: K; Port Bowen [Port Clinton], Qld, 1820, A.Cunningham 114 ; syn: BM, K.


Racosperma juncifolium (Benth.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 350 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia pinifolia Benth. in T.L.Mitchell, J. Exped. Trop. Australia. 342 (1848). Type: Subtropical New Holland [Mt Pluto, Qld.], 1846, T.L.Mitchell ‘347’ ; holo: K.


F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 2 (1887); B.A.Lebler, Wildfl. SE Queensland 2: 38 (1981); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 83 & pl. 51 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 117, fig. 120, pl. 120 (1992).

Representative collections

Qld: Blackdown Tableland, I.B.Armitage 1399 (PERTH); Nathan Gorge, 19.2 km SSW of Cracow, N.H.Speck 1928 (PERTH). N.S.W.: Lee’s Pinch, 16 Sept. 1948, E.F.Constable s.n. (NSW, PERTH); 9.6 km SW of Coaldale by road to Copmanhurst, R.Coveny 2197 (NSW, PERTH).


Acacia juncifolia subsp. serpentinicola Maslin, Telopea 6: 47 (1994)

Spreading shrub 1–1.5 m high. Phyllodes linear, flat, 5–10 cm long, 2- 3 mm wide, subrigid, narrowed at base, obtuse-mucronate with pungent mucro; midrib slightly impressed when dry. Flower-heads deep yellow. Pods straight-edged to slightly constricted between the seeds. Seeds c. 3 mm long.

Restricted to serpentine ridges in rugged country of the Great Divide from Bralga Tops on the upper Barnard R. to Mt George, some 70 km to the SE, N.S.W.

Type of accepted name

3 miles [4.8 km] N of Curricabark, c. 25 miles [40.2 km] NW of Barrington, N.S.W., 27 Sept. 1946, E.L.Hyem s.n. ; holo: NSW; iso: K, PERTH.


[ Acacia juncifolia var. planifolia auct. non Benth.: S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Pickard, Pl. New South Wales 149 (1981)]

Representative collections

N.S.W.: Watchimbark Ck, 6.4 km NW of Myra HS, D.Blaxell & R.Coveny 573 (K, MEL, NSW, P, RSA, TNS); Bralga Tops, Glenrock Stn, Upper Barnard R., 4 Sept. 1980, J.C.Turner (NSW); Mt George, 13 Oct. 1973, A.Vinnicombe (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