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Acacia lasiocarpa

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Acacia lasiocarpa Benth., in S.L.Endlicher et al. , Enum. Pl. 43 (1837)

Shrub 0.2- 1.5 m high. Branchlets often spinose, with indumentum variable. Axillary spines 1 per node, sometimes few or absent, 3- 12 mm long. Pinnae 1 pair, 1- 10 mm long; petiole to c. 0.5 mm long; pinnules 2- 8 pairs, 1- 5 mm long, 0.5- 1 mm wide, usually recurved to revolute, usually green, glabrous to hirsutellous; gland within axil of pinnae, stipitate, to 0.5 mm long. Inflorescences rudimentary 1 (2)-headed racemes; peduncles 2- 12 mm long, with indumentum variable; heads usually globular, 16- 50-flowered, golden; bracteoles acute to long-acuminate. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 1/2- 3/4-united. Pods flat or undulate, 1- 4 cm long, 3- 5 mm wide, glabrous or puberulous to pubescent. Seeds longitudinal to transverse, oblong to elliptic or circular, 1.5- 2.5 mm long, sometimes mottled.

Widespread in south-western W.A., from Kalbarri to the Esperance area.

Acacia guinetii and A. epacantha have been excluded from the circumscription of A. lasiocarpa given in B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 409- 417 (1975). Even so, the species remains a very polymorphic member of the ‘ A. pulchella group’. It comprises three varieties which may ultimately be shown to warrant species status; within each variety a number of variants are recognised. A few specimens from N of Perth cannot be satisfactorily accommodated within any of the varieties. Excepting the flat-pinnule variant of var. lasiocarpa which occurs N of Geraldton, A. lasiocarpa is distinguished from A. pulchella by its recurved to revolute pinnules (B.R.Maslin, op. cit. 409- 410).


1 Pinnules (3-) 4- 8 pairs; pinnae (2- ) 3- 10 mm long; peduncles 6- 12 mm long; heads 25- 50-flowered

var. lasiocarpa

1: Pinnules 2- 3 pairs; pinnae 1- 4 mm long; peduncles normally 2- 6 mm long; heads 16- 27-flowered

2 Bracteoles and usually apex of pinna-rachis very dark brown; pinnules 2- 5 mm long; pods glabrous, flat

var. bracteolata

2: Bracteoles and/or apex of pinna-rachis not very dark brown; pinnules commonly 1- 2 mm long; pods hairy, undulate

var. sedifolia


Acacia lasiocarpa Benth. var. lasiocarpa

Compact or open shrub 0.3- 1.5 m high. Spines few or numerous, sometimes absent. Branchlet indumentum variable, the hairs patent, antrorse or retrorse, sometimes appressed. Pinnae (2- )3- 10 mm long; pinnules (3-)4- 6 (- 8) pairs, 2- 3 mm long, usually revolute, glabrous or puberulous to hirsutellous. Peduncles 6- 12 mm long, with indumentum as on branchlets; heads 5- 7 mm diam. (dry), 25- 50-flowered; bracteoles acute to short-acuminate. Pods flat, glabrous or puberulous. Seed greyish brown, not mottled.

Occurs from Kalbarri S to Mandurah, and also at Bunbury, extending inland to Coorow, W.A. Common on coastal sand dunes in heath, and inland in sandy gravel in shrubland and woodland.

The above description applies to typical var. lasiocarpa which extends from Kalbarri S to near Bunbury. On coastal dunes it is a low, compact shrub with axillary spines few or absent; in northern inland areas it is a tall, openly branched shrub with numerous axillary spines. Some specimens from the Cockleshell Gully- Mt Lesueur area are characterised by branchlets conspicuously pubescent-villous, pinnules 5- 8 pairs and 3- 5 mm long, and bracteoles long-acuminate (e.g. E.A.Griffin 2039 ). Many specimens from N of Geraldton are atypical in having flat or slightly recurved pinnules (e.g. R.Coveny 3074 , AD n.v ., BRI n.v ., CANB n.v ., MEL n.v ., NSW, PERTH); this taxon probably warrants formal status, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 411 (1975).

Type of accepted name

Fremantle, W.A., C.A.Huegel 130; holo: W.


B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 413, fig. 6A- F (1975).

Representative collections

W.A.: c. 33 km E of Geraldton towards Mullewa, B.R.Maslin 689 (MEL, NSW, PERTH); Fremantle, L.Preiss 898 p.p. (LUND, M, MEL, MO, P, STR, TCD, W); 12 km S of Bindoon on Great Northern Hwy, M.D.Tindale 2623 (NSW, PERTH).


Acacia lasiocarpa var. sedifolia (Meisn.) Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 411; 413, fig. 6K- M & 484, map 3 (1975)

Dense, spreading shrub 0.2- 0.5 (- 1) m high. Spines usually few or absent. Branchlets puberulous, the hairs patent to antrorsely or retrorsely appressed. Pinnae usually 1- 2 mm long, the apices acute, not dark brown or prominent; pinnules 2- 3 pairs, usually 1- 2 mm long, puberulous to subglabrous. Peduncles usually 2- 4 mm long, slender; heads usually globular, 3- 5 mm diam. (dry), 16- 23-flowered; bracteoles short- or long-acuminate, not dark brown. Pods undulate, puberulous to pubescent. Seeds brown, occasionally obscurely mottled.

Occurs from Carnamah S to Stirling Ra. and Fitzgerald R. Natl Park, W.A.. Grows on loamy flats around Moora, in rocky clay around Bindoon, in sand around Tammin and in loam to the S, often in Wandoo ( Eucalyptus wandoo ) woodland.

The above description applies to typical var. sedifolia which extends from Northam- Toodyay southwards. Many specimens, especially from the Kellerberrin- Watheroo area, possess characters at variance with those given above, e.g. axillary spines numerous and/or pinnae and pinnules to 4 mm long and/or peduncles to 8 mm long. Specimens from the Stirling Ra. are unusual in having obloid flower-heads (e.g. G.J.Keighery 3498 , PERTH).

B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 409 (1975), treated A. cycnorum as synonymous with the typical variety. However, a reexamination of the holotype shows it having 18- 20-flowered heads and slender peduncles 5- 6 mm long, suggesting that it is better placed under var. sedifolia . The specimen, however, differs slightly from typical var. sedifolia in having 3- 4 pairs of pinnules, each 2- 2.5 mm long.

Type of accepted name

Swan R., W.A., J.Drummond s.n. ; holo: K.


Acacia cycnorum Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 388 (1842); Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann (as ‘cygnorum’), Pl. Preiss . 1: 22 (1844); A. pulchella var. cycnorum (Benth.) E.Pritz. (as ‘cygnorum’), Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 35: 310 (1904). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia cycnorum var. sedifolia Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann (as ‘cygnorum’), Pl. Preiss. 1: 22 (1844). Type: Hay district [between Balgarup and L. Matilda], W.A., 7 Nov. 1840, L.Preiss 911 ; lecto: LD, fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 404 (1994); isolecto: MEL, PERTH.

Acacia cycnorum var. minutifolia Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann (as ‘cygnorum’), Pl. Preiss. 1: 22 (1844) Type: interior of south-west W.A., 7 Mar. 1840, L.Preiss 912 ; lecto: LD, fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, loc. cit. ; isolecto: MEL, NY, PERTH.


B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 413, fig. 6K- M (1975).

Representative collections

W.A.: 25.7 km N of crossroads on sandplain N of Mt Bland, M.I.H.Brooker 2718 (AD, PERTH); 5.6 km E of Green Hills towards Quairading, B.R.Maslin 487 (MEL, NSW, PERTH); Nalyering Wells, 20 km N of Kellerberrin, B.R.Maslin 593 (MEL, NSW, PERTH); Guildford, L.Preiss 897 (C, GOET, G-DC, K, LD, STR).


Acacia lasiocarpa var. bracteolata Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 415; 413, fig. 6N- T & 485, map 4 (1975)

Intricate shrub 0.2- 0.6 m high. Spines numerous. Branchlets usually appressed-puberulous with hairs retrorse. Pinnae 1- 3 mm long, the apices usually long-acute and dark brown; pinnules 2- 3 pairs, 2- 5 mm long, usually green, glabrous to sparsely hirsutellous. Peduncles usually 3- 6 mm long and retrorsely hairy; heads 5- 7 mm diam. (dry), 17- 27-flowered; bracteoles acuminate, dark brown. Pods flat but raised over seeds, glabrous. Seeds grey-white mottled brown.

Widespread from near Eneabba and Harvey SE to Amelup and near Esperance, W.A. Grows in often gravelly sand and loam, sometimes along watercourses, mostly in woodland.

Some specimens from the south coast (Jerramungup- Ravensthorpe and Esperance areas) have antrorse hairs on branchlets and peduncles (e.g. 31 km E of Jerramungup, M.D.Tindale 257 & B.R.Maslin , NSW, PERTH). Some specimens from near Newdegate and Tammin have glaucous pinnules and the pinnae axes ending in short-acute, sometimes light brown points (e.g. Tammin Flora Reserve, B.R.Maslin 603 , MEL, NSW, PERTH). A variant occurring predominantly in seasonal swamps on the Swan Coastal Plain between Perth and Mandurah is recognised by branchlet hairs antrorse, peduncles c. 10 mm long and pinnae apices not dark brown (e.g. G.J.Keighery 5026 , PERTH); this variant was included under var. lasiocarpa in B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 411 (1975).

Type of accepted name

45 km NW of Moora towards Badgingarra, W.A., 3 Aug. 1975, B.R.Maslin 3246 ; holo: PERTH; iso: CANB, K, MEL, NSW, NY.


B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 413, fig. 6N- T (1975).

Representative collections

W.A.: 17.7 km NE of Kojonup towards Katanning, B.R.Maslin 645 (AD, MEL, NSW, PERTH); between Mr Barker & Lennard’s properties [between York and Guildford], W.A., L.Preiss 909 (LD).


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