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Acacia mucronata

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Acacia mucronata Willd. ex H.L.Wendl., Comm. Acac. Aphyll . 6, 46, t. 12 (1820)

Variable Sallow Wattle, Narrow-leaf Wattle

Shrub or tree, 1–15 m high, 0.5–5 m wide. Stipules caducous or absent, minute. Phyllodes narrowly linear, oblong or elliptic, commonly straight, 2–20 cm long, 1–10 mm wide, mucronate, with several veins, 1–3 prominent, anastomosing veins often conspicuous; gland c. 5–10 mm above phyllode axil; pulvinus present. Inflorescences with peduncles less than 7 mm long; spikes solitary or twinned; interrupted, 1–6 cm long; bracteoles sessile, cupular, 0.5–1 mm long, pubescent. Flowers distant, 4-merous, creamy white or pale yellow; sepals united. Pods linear, slightly constricted between seeds, 6–12 cm long, 2–5 mm wide. Seeds elliptic, 3–5 mm long; funicle thin, short, folded 2–3 times; aril turbinate.

Widespread from far south-eastern N.S.W. to western Vic., usually S of the Great Dividing Ra. with isolated occurrences in the Little Desert near Dimboola and widespread also in Tas. where it ranges from sea-level to the highlands and sometimes forms low closed forests in parts of the W of the State. It usually occurs in forests and woodlands. Usually flowers Aug.–Dec. and fruits Nov.–Feb.

Three subspecies are recognised here within this variable taxon and each of them shows considerable variation and overlap with each other. Victorian populations generally show significant differences from most Tasmanian populations and might represent a distinct species. The great variation in habit and phyllode characters make classification of the remaining populations difficult but the following takes account of most of the variability. One population from Adventure Bay, Bruny Is. in the S of Tas., here placed in subsp. mucronata , appears to be anomalous in some respects. Its phyllodes are less than 5 cm long and less than 5 mm wide and, unlike those in most other populations, are widest at or below the middle. They are also sometimes pungent with prominent longitudinal veins which rarely anastomose and seem to be somewhat rigid.


1 Phyllodes more than 9 cm long, rarely less than 10 times as long as wide, usually acute

subsp. longifolia

1: Phyllodes usually less than 9 cm long, usually less than 25 times as long as wide, often mucronate

2 Phyllodes mostly less than 8 cm long, 3–11 mm wide, anastomosing nerves prominent

subsp. dependens

2: Phyllodes more than 7 cm long and usually less than 6 mm wide, anastomosing nerves prominent

subsp. mucronata


Acacia mucronata Willd. ex H.L.Wendl. subsp. mucronata

Shrub or small tree, 1.5–15 m high; phyllodes to 9 cm long, mostly less than 5–6 mm wide, the veins not prominent and anastomosing veins commonly inconspicuous.

Occurs principally in woodlands and forests of north-central, eastern, south-eastern and southern Tas., rarely in the south-west.

Appears to be a link between subsp. longifolia and subsp. dependens but differs from the former in its shorter and usually narrower phyllodes and from the latter by its longer phyllodes and much more obscure venation. Geographical boundaries are difficult to define but subsp. longifolia seems to be mostly confined to Victoria and subsp. dependens is confined to Tas., principally to the north-western and north-central parts of the State and it also extends to the central and north-western highlands.

Type of accepted name

Based on a specimen in Herbarium H.L.Wendland, locality, date and coll. unknown; lecto: GOET n.v. , fide A.B.Court (to be published in Appendix to Fl. Australia vol. 11, 2001) ; isolecto: CANB.


Acacia longifolia var. mucronata (Willd. ex H.L.Wendl.) F.Muell., Pl. Victoria 2: 31 (1863), nom. inval. [not effectively published, fide A.B.Court, R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 9(3):315–318 (1994)]; A. longifolia var. mucronata (Willd. ex H.L.Wendl.) Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 398 (1864). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia mucronata var. linearis (Sims) Rodway, Tasman. Fl. 42 (1903) p.p.

Representative collections

Tas.: 6.4 km N of Frankford, J.H.Hemsley 6302 (MEL); Gorge, Launceston, 26 Oct. 1943, W.M.Curtis s.n. (HO); Tasman Penin., 14 Oct. 1962, D.W.Shoobridge s.n. (CANB).


Acacia mucronata subsp. dependens (Hook.f.) Court (ms), to be published in Appendix to Fl. Australia vol. 11 (2001)

Low, sprawling, tangled shrub less than 1 m high at higher altitudes or a graceful, dense tree to 8 m in the lowlands. Phyllodes narrowly elliptic to linear, 1.5–6 cm long (rarely longer), 3–11 mm wide, the veins prominent and clearly anastomosing.

Occurs in woodlands and montane regions principally in north-western, western and central Tas., and in places forms dominant closed forests, especially in the west of the State including King Is.

The differences between subsp. dependens and subsp. mucronata are not clear and subsequent reassessment of them might show that the former should be regarded as an extreme form of the latter. It is characterised principally by its shorter and broader phyllodes commonly with prominently anastomosing veins and it seems to prefer subalpine and montane habitats.

Type of accepted name

Van Diemen’s Land [Tas.], without date, A.Cunningham s.n. ; syn: n.v. ; Van Diemen’s Land [Tas.], R.Gunn 202 , 480 , 678 (HO); syn: n.v.


Acacia dependens A.Cunn. ex Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 372 (1842), nom. illeg. , non Dehnh. (1832); A. mucronata var. dependens Hook.f., Fl. Tasman. 1: 110 (1856). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia linearis var. tasmannica Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 371 (1842). Type: Van Diemen’s Land [Tas.], R.C.Gunn 677 , without date; n.v.


J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 6(7): pl. 216, figs I–L (1915); M.H.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 243 (1988), as A. mucronata excluding the two longer phyllodes.

Representative collections

Tas.: Hounslow Heath near Cradle Mtn, 14 Nov. 1965, M.E.Phillips s.n. (CANB); L. St Clair, E.Gauba 529 (CANB).


Acacia mucronata subsp. longifolia (Benth.) Court (ms), to be published in Appendix to Fl. Australia vol. 11 (2001)

Shrub or small tree to 5 m high. Phyllodes commonly very narrow, mostly broadest near or below the middle, rarely less than 9 cm long, with 3–4 veins, often one much more prominent than the others.

Confined to far south-eastern N.S.W., southern Vic. in forests and woodlands usually south of the Great Dividing Ra. and in north-central Tas. Flowers Aug.–Oct. but fruiting has been noted only twice (Mar. and Dec.).

A polymorphic species distinguished from A. longifolia by its thinner, mostly shorter, narrower phyllodes and pale yellow loosely packed flowers. Presumptive hybrids between A. oxycedrus and A. mucronata var. longifolia are known (see A. oxycedrus ).

Type of accepted name

Van Diemen’s Land [Tas.], without date, R.C.Gunn 802 ; syn: K (photo seen CANB).


A. dissitiflora Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 371 (1842); A. mucronata var. longifolia Benth., Linnaea 26: 628 (1855); A. mucronata var. dissitiflora (Benth.) Hook.f., Fl. Tasman. 1: 110 (1856); A. longifolia var. dissitiflora (Benth.) Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 398 (1864). Type: as for accepted name.


L.F.Costermans, Native Trees Shrubs SE Australia 304 (1981), as A. mucronata excluding variant; T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 34, pl. 7 (1992), as A. mucronata var. longifolia .

Representative collections

N.S.W.: on the Princes Hwy 4.8 km N of Timbilica and 40.2 km S of Eden, R.Coveny 2929 (BRI, MEL, NSW); near Goat Ck on Hwy 1, F.Bienvenue 27 (CANB). Vic.: Jimmy Ck, 21 km S of Halls Gap, The Grampians, H.Streimann 3142 (CANB); near Gladysdale, M.E.Phillips 50 (CANB, MEL). Tas.: between Asbestos Ra. and Flowers Hill, F.E.Davies 1049 & P.Ollerenshaw (CANB).


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