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Acacia rubida

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Acacia rubida A.Cunn., in B.Field, Geogr. Mem. New South Wales 344 (1825)

Red-stem Wattle , Red-leaf Wattle

Shrub or tree usually 1.5–5 m high, with juvenile bipinnate leaves often persistent. Branchlets red to reddish brown, usually glabrous. Phyllodes narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, falcately recurved to straight, 5–20 cm long, 5–25 mm wide, narrowed at base, acuminate to acute, infrequently obtuse, green to glaucous, normally drying reddish at least on margins and midrib, 1-nerved per face, obscurely penninerved; gland 1–4 cm above pulvinus; margin frequently shallowly indented at gland which is sometimes connected to midrib by a fine oblique nerve. Inflorescences racemose; raceme axes normally 2–7 cm long, glabrous or appressed-puberulous; peduncles normally 2–4 mm long, glabrous or sparsely appressed-puberulous; heads globular, 10–20-flowered, light golden; bracteole laminae circular, dark brown, densely white-fimbriolate, evident in buds. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods 5–12 cm long, 6–8 mm wide, chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, lightly pruinose, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, 4–5.5 mm long, slightly shiny, dark brown to black; funicle encircling seed in a single or double fold, dark red-brown.

Widespread in eastern Australia from the Black Ra., Vic. N along the Great Divide through A.C.T. and N.S.W. to Stanthorpe, south-eastern Qld. Seemingly disjunct between east-central N.S.W. and the N.S.W./Qld border area (from near Stanthorpe, Qld S to the New England tableland, N.S.W.). Mostly found in hilly country or at high altitudes, often near watercourses, and on a variety of soils including clays and sands.

Acacia rubida is normally an upright shrub or tree 1.5–5 m high, although in Vic. it may reach 13 m or more, fide A.B.Court, in J.H.Willis, Handb. Pl. Victoria 2: 227 (1973). Its phyllodes are rather variable in shape and size but frequently they are large, falcately recurved, broadest near the middle and obviously narrowed at both ends. Specimens with straight, oblanceolate phyllodes and sometimes as short as 4–5 cm rather abruptly narrowed at apex occur throughout the range and may resemble those of A. amoena or A. chalkeri . A dwarf variant (sprawling to 1.5 m high) with similarly small phyllodes, but with spreading hairs on its branchlets and often the peduncles and raceme axes, occurs in N.S.W. from Ben Bullen and the Snowy Ra. area near Ebor (e.g. 75 km E of Armidale, J.B.Williams , NSW180830, PERTH). This dwarf variant is treated in WATTLE as a separate species, A. nana .

Acacia rubida is a member of the ‘ Acacia microbotrya group’ related to A. attenuata . According to L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 299 (1980), A. latisepala is also related to A. rubida even though the former species only very rarely produces phyllodes. Some forms of A. rubida resemble A. semirigida ; also sometimes similar to A. falciformis or A. mabellae .

Type of accepted name

Blue Mtns, N.S.W., Oct. 1822, A.Cunningham 225 ; holo: K, fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 290 (1980); iso: BM n.v.


Racosperma rubidum (A.Cunn.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 355 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

[ Acacia amoena auct. non H.L.Wendl.: A.P.de Candolle, Prodr . 2: 452 (1825)]

Doubful name

Acacia visneoides Colla: see Doubtful Names.


N.T.Burbidge & M.Gray, Fl. Austral. Cap. Terr. 201, fig. 194B (1970); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 159 (1981); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 318 (1981); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 143, fig. 153, pls 153a & 153b (1992).

Representative collections

Qld: Girraween Natl Park, 35 km S of Stanthorpe, M.E.Ballingall 2295 (PERTH). N.S.W.: Mundoonen Nature Reserve, 15 km E of Yass on Hume Hwy to Goulburn, B.R.Maslin 5890 (MEXU, NSW, PERTH); Australia, F.W.Sieber 452 (G-DC, K, MEL, OXF). A.C.T.: between Bulls Head & Bendora Dam, Cotter R. district, R.Pullen 3856 (NSW). Vic.: W of Alexandra, Crystal Ck, Black Ra. 6 Sept. 1978 & Jan. 1979, L.F.Costermans (MEL).


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