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Acacia murrayana

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Acacia murrayana F.Muell. ex Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 370 (1864)

Murray’s Wattle , Sandplain Wattle , Colony Wattle , Powder Bark Wattle

Shrub or tree to 5 m, sometimes 8 m, may sucker and form colonies. Branchlets often pruinose, glabrous. Phyllodes linear to narrowly elliptic, sometimes oblanceolate, 5–15 cm long, 1.5–8 (– 12) mm wide, with a minute, callous, curved mucro overtopping the gland, thinly coriaceous, often drying finely longitudinally wrinkled, pale green to glaucous, glabrous; midrib not prominent; lateral nerves obscure and longitudinally anastomosing; gland basal, also at base of mucro. Inflorescences 2–10-headed racemes; raceme axes 1–6 cm long, slender, glabrous; peduncles 4–10 (– 15) mm long, slender, glabrous; heads globular, densely 25–50-flowered, light golden to mid-golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods narrowly oblong, prominently rounded over seeds, to 9 cm long, 8–12 mm wide, chartaceous, sometimes pruinose, glabrous. Seeds transverse to oblique, oblong, elliptic, ovate or orbicular, 4–5.5 mm long, shallowly depressed at centre, dull, black, exarillate.

Widespread in the Arid Zone from North West Cape and Shark Bay, W.A., through N.T. and S.A. to the western margin of the Great Divide near Mitchell (Qld) and Narrabri (N.S.W.). Grows in sand on dunes, plains or along streams, often with mulga or ‘spinifex’.

Future studies may show a need to recognise infraspecific taxa to accommodate the considerable variation in phyllode shape, width and colour.

Acacia murrayana together with A. gelasina , A. pachyacra , A. praelongata and A. subrigida comprise the ‘A. murrayana group’, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 10: 198 (1995). This group of species is not far removed from the ‘ A. victoriae group’ and ‘ A. juncifolia group’. Some forms may resemble A. dietrichiana .

Aboriginal use of A. murrayana in central Australia is provided by P.Latz, Bushfires & Bushtucker 110 (1995).

Type of accepted name

Subtropical New Holland [near St George, Qld], 17 Nov. 1846, T.L.Mitchell ‘444’ ; lecto: K, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 284 (1980); Cooper Ck, Qld/S.A., J.Murray s.n. ; paralecto: MEL.


Racosperma murrayanum (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 352 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia frumentacea Tate, Rep. Horn Sci. Exped. pt 3: 156, 187 (1896); Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Australia 19: 81 (1895), nom . nud . Type: Flooded ground, Hugh R., N.T., 23 July 1894, [ R.Tate s.n. ]; syn: AD, a note by C.M.Eardley on this sheet: ‘On 23/7/94 the Horn Expedn. camped at Alice Well, lat. 2450’S, long. 13415’E’.

[ Acacia leptopetala auct. non Benth.: G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 2: 370 (1864), as to Murchison R., A.Oldfield ; F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 5 (1887); J.H.Maiden, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 49: 495 (1916)]


G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 368 (1981); B.R.Maslin, in J.P.Jessop (ed.), Fl. Central Australia 120 (1981); A.A.Mitchell & D.G.Wilcox, Arid Shrubland Pl. W. Australia 280–281 (1988); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 153, fig. 167, pl. 167 (1992); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 133 (1992).

Representative collections

W.A.: 5.6 km S of Menzies towards Kalgoorlie, B.R.Maslin 1935 (MEL, PERTH). N.T.: 29 km SE of Aileron township, M.Lazarides 5772 (K, PERTH). S.A.: Panaramitee, G.Gardiner (AD96650302); c. 12 km NE of Innamincka, D.J.E.Whibley 2457 (PERTH). Qld.: near Nebine Ck, L.Pedley 2417 (K, PERTH). N.S.W.: 17 km W of ‘Tundulya’, J.Pickard 2015 (CANB n.v ., K, 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