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Acacia penninervis

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Acacia penninervis Sieber ex DC., Prodr . 2: 452 (1825)

Hickory Wattle , Mountain Hickory

Shrub or small tree to 8 m high, commonly smaller. Branchlets glabrous. Phyllodes variable, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, normally straight, 5–16 cm long, (0.5–) 1–4 cm wide, narrowed at base, green, infrequently glaucous, glabrous, with prominent midrib and marginal nerves, finely penninerved; gland 5–30 mm above pulvinus; margin often shallowly indented at gland which is connected to midrib by a fine oblique nerve. Inflorescences racemose, sometimes in panicles; raceme axes 3–12 cm long, glabrous or (var. longiracemosa ) appressed-puberulous; peduncles 4–8 mm long, with indumentum as on raceme axes; heads globular, 15–30-flowered, cream to white. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united almost to their apices. Pods to 20 cm long, 10–17 mm wide, thinly coriaceous to firmly chartaceous, obscurely transversely reticulate, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong to elliptic, 6–7 mm long, slightly shiny, black; funicle dark red; aril clavate.

Extending from Blackdown Tableland, south-eastern Qld, S through eastern N.S.W. and A.C.T. to Monument Ridge, eastern Vic., with a western outlier near Longwood, Vic.

In the past A. penninervis has often been confused with A. falciformis which is often a larger plant distinguished especially by its normally golden appressed-puberulous peduncles and raceme axes. It sometimes resembles A. bancroftiorum , A. falcata , A. mabellae   or A. obliquinervia .

Following L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 268 (1980), A. penninervis is regarded as comprising two varieties; however, future studies may show that var. longiracemosa warrants species status. Both varieties are variable, especially in Qld.

Peduncles and raceme axes glabrous; phyllodes oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, with midrib infrequently contiguous with lower margin near pulvinus

var. penninervis

Peduncles and raceme axes glabrous or appressed-puberulous; phyllodes narrowly elliptic, with midrib often contiguous with lower margin for 5–10 mm above pulvinus

var. longiracemosa


Acacia penninervis Sieber ex DC. var. penninervis

Phyllodes oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, abruptly or gradually narrowed to an obtuse or acute apex, commonly straight, 5–10 cm long, 1–3 cm wide and l:w = 3–7, sometimes (especially Qld specimens) falcate, to 13 cm long (rarely 16 cm), 0.5–1.5 cm wide and l:w = 7–15, thinly coriaceous; midrib infrequently contiguous with lower margin above the pulvinus. Raceme axes and peduncles glabrous. < /FONT >

Occurs predominantly on the Great Divide from Blackdown Tableland, Qld, S through N.S.W. and A.C.T. to Monument Ridge, Vic., with a outlier near Longwood, Vic. Geographic patterns of variation, especially in Qld and northern N.S.W., requires further study, see above description and L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 269 (1980).

Closely related to the taxon described as A. affin. penninervis   from the Howqua R. and Carboor East area, Vic.

Type of accepted name

Fl. Novae Hollandiae [N.S.W.], F.Sieber 458 ; holo: G-DC; iso: A, G, HAL, K, MEL, MO, NSW.


Racosperma penninerve (Sieber ex DC.) Pedley, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 92: 239 (1986). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia impressa Lindl., Bot. Reg. 13: t. 1115 (1827); A. penninervis var. impressa (Lindl.) Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 254 (1926). Type: Macquarie R., N.S.W., Aug. 1817, A.Cunningham 427 ; neo: K, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 267 (1980). See also note under Acacia semperflorens Jacques in Doubtful Names.

Acacia penninervis var. lanceolata R.T.Baker, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 21: 441 (1896). Type: Gulf, Rylestone, N.S.W., Nov. 1893, J.Dawson ; syn: NSW; without locality, Jan. 1893, J.Dawson ; syn: NSW.

Acacia penninervis var. typica Domin, Biblioth. Bot . 89: 254 (1926), nom. inval.

Doubtful name

Acacia impressa var. tortuosa Courtois: see Doubtful Names.


W.J.Hooker, Bot. Mag . 54: t. 2754 (1827); J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 3: pl. 91 (1907); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 318 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 130, fig. 137, pl. 137 (1992).

Representative collections

Qld: 50 km ENE of Chinchilla, L.Pedley 2779 (BRI). N.S.W.: 0.6 km S of Dubbo on Newell Hwy, T.Tame 1518 (NSW, PERTH). A.C.T.: E slope of the Black Mtn, R.Pullen 10287 (CANB, PERTH). Vic.: 4.5 km by road E of Monument Ridge, A.C.Beauglehole 37696 (MEL); Hume Hwy, c. 1 km NE of 80 mile post between Avenel and Creighton, 4 June 1962, J.H.Willis & A.B.Court (MEL).


Acacia penninervis var. longiracemosa Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 254 (1926)

Phyllodes narrowly elliptic, commonly gradually narrowed to an acute apex, 7–15 cm long, 1–4 cm wide, l:w = 2.5–8, membranous; midrib often contiguous with lower margin for 5–10 mm above the pulvinus. Raceme axes and peduncles glabrous or sparsely to moderately appressed-puberulous with white hairs.< /FONT >

Coastal districts S of about Gladstone, Qld, to Bald Knob, northern N.S.W. Common in the understorey of open eucalypt forest.

Geographic pattern of variation in Qld is discussed by L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 269 (1980) . Very similar to A. binervata .

Type of accepted name

Near Brisbane R., Qld, 1863- 65, A.Dietrich s.n. ; holo: PR n.v. , fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 268 (1980); iso: BRI, CANB, K, MO.


Racosperma penninerve var. longiracemosum (Domin) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 353 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia macgillivrayi Tindale (as ‘mcgillivrayi’), Phytochemistry 13: 831 (1974), nom. nud.


B.A.Lebler, Wildfl. SE Queensland 2: 60 (1981).

Representative collections

Qld: near summit of Mt Larcom, S.T.Blake 22448 (BRI); south-eastern slopes of Mt Cootha, D.E.Boyland 662 (MEL). N.S.W.: Bald Knob, 6 Feb. 1971, K.Grieves (NSW, 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