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Acacia saligna

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Acacia saligna (Labill.) H.L.Wendl., Comm. Acac . Aphyll . 4, 26 (1820)

Golden Wreath Wattle , Orange Wattle , Blue-leafed Wattle , Western Australian Golden Wattle

Bushy shrub or tree mostly 2–6 m high. Bark grey. Branchlets often pendulous, normally slightly flexuose, often pruinose (especially when young), glabrous. Phyllodes often pendulous, variable in shape and size, linear to lanceolate, straight to falcate, 7–25 cm long, (2–) 4–20 mm wide, often larger towards base of plant, green to glaucous, glabrous, with prominent midrib, finely penninerved (absent on very narrow phyllodes); gland disciform, 1–2 mm wide, 0–3 mm above pulvinus; pulvinus mostly 1–2 mm long, coarsely wrinkled. Inflorescences mostly 2–10-headed racemes, enclosed when young by imbricate bracts, with bract scars evident at anthesis; raceme axes mostly 3–30 mm long, glabrous; peduncles 5–15 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, mostly 7–10 mm diam. at anthesis and 25–55-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals c. 4/5-united. Pods linear, flat, shallowly constricted between seeds, 8–12 cm long, 4–6 mm wide, thinly coriaceous, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong to slightly elliptic, 5–6 mm long, shiny, dark brown to black; aril clavate.

Widespread, often common in south-western W.A., extending from Wilgiamia Pool (c. 30 km due NE of Kalbarri) SE to Ponier Rock (c. 65 km due S of Balladonia), but also occuring c. 230 km ENE of Kalbarri on Meka, Murgoo and Jingemarra Stns. Naturalised in S.A., Qld, N.S.W., Vic. and Tas. In W.A., grows in a variety of habitats, including poor sandy soils of the Swan Coastal Plain, clayey soil around Geraldton, the sandplains N of Gingin, the Darling Ra. and the Great Southern (where it is restricted to creeks and rivers), deep sands associated with watercourses (e.g. south coast of W.A.), the base of granite boulders in the wheatbelt, and in coastal dune systems (often forming dense thickets in the hollows between sand hills).

Superficially similar, but seemingly not closely related to, A. pycnantha , which differs significantly in its absence of basal raceme bracts; A. pycnantha also has stouter raceme axes and peduncles, conspicuously attenuate phyllode bases with longer pulvini, smaller glands. The two species also differ significantly in their gum chemistry, fide D.M.W.Anderson & P.C.Bell, Phytochemistry 15: 301–303 (1976). Acacia saligna is sometimes confused with A. microbotrya and A. rostellifera (with which it is commonly sympatric in some coastal habitats) but the pods and seeds of these three species are very different, see B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 339 (1974), for further details. Although A. provincialis was described as a garden hybrid between A. retinodes and A. cyanophylla (= A. saligna ) it is unlikely that this is correct, see under A. retinodes for discussion.

Widely cultivated. A fast growing, drought tolerant species that is easy to coppice and which spreads both by root suckers and seed. It is used extensively in semi-arid areas of north Africa and the Middle East as windbreaks, coastal sand dune fixation, fuelwoods and fodder production, fide M.H.El-Lakany, in J.W.Turnbull (ed.), Austral. Acacias in Developing Countries 116- 117 (ACIAR Proceedings no. 16: Canberra, 1987). In South Africa it is a major environmental weed, fide C.H.Stirton, Plant Invaders 60–63 (1978).

Type of accepted name

Terra Diemen. herb. Webbianum. Ex herb. Labillardiere; lecto: FI—left hand specimen on sheet, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 1: 334 (1974).


Mimosa saligna Labill., Nov. Holl. Pl. 2: 86, t. 235 (1807); Racosperma salignum (Labill.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 355 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia cyanophylla Lindl., Edward’s Bot. Reg. 25: Misc. 45 (1839). Type: Swan R., W.A., J.Mangles; holo: CGE.

Acacia lindleyi Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss . 1: 14 (1844). Type: interior of south-west W.A., Nov. 1840, L. Preiss 947 ; lecto: LD, fide B.R.Maslin & R.S.Cowan, Nuytsia 9: 408 (1994); isolecto: NY.

Acacia bracteata Maiden & Blakely, J. Roy. Soc. W. Australia 13: 18, t. 10, figs 7–11 (1928). Type: Cultivated in Temperate House, Kew, England, June 1879, Anonymous ; holo: NSW 167309; iso: K.


M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 181 (1988); T.Tame, Acacias SE Australia 130, fig. 136, pl. 136 (1992); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 171 & 173 (1992).

Representative collections

W.A.: N of Cranbrook, A.M.Ashby 3683 (AD n.v ., NSW, PERTH); 4.8 km W of Nanson, 35.4 km NNE of Geraldton, R.Coveny 3052 (CANB n.v ., MEL n.v ., NSW, PERTH, US n.v ., Z n.v .); Perth metropolitan area: Wembley Downs, B.R.Maslin 1630 (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