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Acacia montana

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Acacia montana Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 360 (1842)

Mallee Wattle

Viscid shrub or tree 1–4 m high. Branchlets subglabrous to moderately puberulous, the hairs often antrorsely curved and appressed. Phyllodes narrowly oblong to linear or narrowly elliptic, sometimes oblong-oblanceolate, 1–4 cm long, 2–7 mm wide, obtuse, rather thin, sometimes obscurely resinous-punctulate, glabrous or subglabrous, with 2 main often yellowish nerves per face, with minor nerves few and forming an often obscure, longitudinal reticulum; gland not prominent, 0.5–2 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences simple, 1 or 2 per axil; peduncles 3–9 mm long, glabrous or puberulous; basal bract persistent; heads globular to shortly obloid, c. 25-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 1/4–1/2-united. Pods linear, 2–5 cm long, 2–4 mm wide, coriaceous to thinly crustaceous, usually villous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 3–4 mm long, shiny, dark brown; aril folded at end of seed.

Occurs in south-eastern Australia from north-eastern Eyre Peninsula, S.A., through Vic. and N.S.W. to near Stanthorpe in south-eastern Qld; it is most common on the inland slopes of the Great Divide and adjacent plains in N.S.W. and Vic.; there is an isolated occurrence from near Angledool Lake, N.S.W. Grows in a variety of soils, often in open forest or tall shrubland.

G.Bentham published the name A. montana in 1842, presumably between 11 June and 1 July of that year. Although I.C.Nielsen, Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Adansonia no. 3: 327 (1983), lists ‘A. montana Junghuhn, Nat. Tijdschr. Ned. Ind . 5: 626 (1842)’ as a synonym of Paraserianthes lophantha , it appears that Junghuhn's name was not published until 1843 (K.Wilson, pers. comm.).

Specimens with glabrous pods are uncommon and were described as var. psilocarpa . Formal recognition of this variety does not seem warranted.

Putative hybrids between A. aspera and possibly A. montana have been recorded from the Bendigo district, Vic., fide A.B.Court, in J.H.Willis, Handb. Pl. Victoria 216 (1973). The N.S.W. record of A. menzelii by G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales (1981: 366), is based on a misidentification of a specimen (i.e. G.M.Cunningham & P.L.Milthorpe 2729 , NSW, PERTH) which represents a taxon of uncertain status but perhaps is a hybrid involving A. montana (these two species are thought to hybridize in the Monarto area of S.A.).  Also in S.A. A. montana is thought to hybridize with A. paradoxa  in the Southern Flinders Ra.

A member of the A. verniciflua complex and sometimes resembles A. verniciflua (Baccus Marsh variant) itself, which is distinguished especially by its phyllodes with usually obvious, shallow glandular pits and minor nerves not forming a reticulum. Its phyllodes are sometimes similar to those of A. ixiophylla , a species readily distinguished, among other things, by its shortly racemose inflorescences. It also resembles broad phyllode forms of A. wilhelmiana , which are distinguished by their light golden puberulous peduncles and non-reticulate phyllodes. Sometimes also resembles A. melleodora .

Type of accepted name

Native of high land near Liverpool Plains, N.S.W., observed in flower in September, a tall shrub, C.Fraser ; holo: K.


Racosperma montanum (Benth.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 352 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia clavata Schltdl., Linnaea 20: 662 (1847). Type: ‘Auf dem ostlichen Abhange der Berge nach dem Scrub beim Murrayflusse.’ [this locality is appparently part of the Murray Mallee, S.A., S of the modern Truro- Blanchetown Hwy towards The Marne R., fide D.K.Kraehenbuehl, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 3: 111 (1981)], Aug. 1845, H.H.Behr ; holo: HAL; iso: NY.

Acacia montana var. psilocarpa J.H.Willis, Victorian Naturalist 73: 156 (1957). Type: Shire of Dimboola, Vic., 6 Dec. 1899, F.M.Reader ; holo: MEL.


L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 324 (1981); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 367 (1981); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 129 (1988); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 71, fig. 54, pl. 54 (1992); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 183 (1992).

Representative collections

S.A.: Uno Ra., NW end, D.J.E.Whibley 7863 (AD); c. 10 km W Murray Bridge, D.J.E.Whibley 4198 (PERTH). Qld: Yuraraba, L.Pedley 4234 (BRI, PERTH). NSW: 18.7 km from Merriwa- Cassilis Rd on Wollar Rd, R.Coveny 2434 (CANB, PERTH). Vic.: 6 km ESE Rushworth, T.B.Muir 6984 (MEL, 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