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Acacia pentadenia

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Acacia pentadenia Lindl., Edwards’ Bot. Reg. 18: t. 1521 (1832)

Karri Wattle ; sometimes Catbush on account of its rather offensive smell

Shrub or tree 2– 5 (– 9) m high. Branchlets ribbed, normally glabrous. Pinnae mostly 2– 5 pairs, 3– 10 mm long (proximal pinnae) otherwise 25– 80 mm long; petiole mostly 2– 3 mm long; rachis 10– 55 mm long; pinnules 2– 4 pairs (proximal pinnae) otherwise 12– 30 pairs, oblong, sometimes triangular due to recurved margins, sessile and obliquely truncate at base, 3– 6 mm long, 1– 2.5 mm wide, green, glabrous or sparsely ciliolate; gland at rachis base 0–3 mm below each pair of pinnae, sometimes absent from petiole, subsessile, crateriform. Inflorescences normally 2– 4-headed racemes; raceme axes 1– 4 mm long; peduncles 6– 20 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, 15– 25-flowered, cream to pale yellow. Flowers 5-merous; sepals at least 3/4-united, brown. Pods to 6 cm long, 3– 4 mm wide. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 2.5– 3 mm long; aril curved.

Occurs from near Nannup SE to near Denmark with one collection from Albany, south-western W.A. Common in sand or loam, in Karri ( Eucalyptus diversicolor ) or Karri/Marri ( E. diversicolor/Corymbia calophylla ) forest where it often forms dense stands.

Acacia pentadenia and A. subracemosa are the tallest members of the ‘ A. browniana group’, they have the largest leaves, and both occur in Karri forest. However, in places, especially the Walpole- Denmark area, A. pentadenia grows in lateritic loam in Jarrah ( E. marginata ) forest or near swamps where it is often a stunted shrub (to c. 2 m high) with the pinnules often smaller than normal and their tips reflexed; the status of these populations should be reassessed.

An examination of the type collection has revealed that all the specimens on the sheet are ‘typical’ A. pentadenia , including the one thought by B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 446 (1975), to be the stunted variant of the species.

Type of accepted name

New Holland [Australia], W.A., W.Baxter ; lecto: CGE, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 444 (1975).


? Acacia neilii hort. ex Seem., Verh. K.K. Gartenbauges. Wien 1846: 72 (1846). Type: ‘Der Name ist ihr wahrscheinlich zu Ehren des Herrn Neilli in Neuholland, einem Freunde des J. Drummond , beigelegt.’; n.v. , synonymy following K.Koch, Berliner Allg. Gartenzeitung 26: 195 (1858).

Acacia biglandulosa Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 2: 205 (1848). Type: Swan R., W.A., J.Drummond [2:] 97 ; holo: BM (sheet labelled herb. Shuttleworth), fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 403 (1994); iso: K, MEL, NSW, OXF, P, PERTH (N.B. Drummond’s collection no. either absent or given incorrectly as collection 3 on isotypes).


J.Lindley, loc. cit. ; R.Erickson et al. , Fl. & Pl. W. Australia 57 (1973); B.R.Maslin, op. cit. 445; M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 293; pls 45 & 46 (1981).

Representative collections

W.A.: lower SW slopes of Mt Melville, Albany, 22 Oct. 1980, D.Davidson (PERTH); Big Brook, Pemberton, M.Koch 2343 (PERTH); 4.8 km E of Denmark towards Albany, B.R.Maslin 2945 (AD, E, L, MO, NSW, NT, PERTH, SYD); S of Nannup, F.W.Went 118 (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