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Acacia simmonsiana

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Acacia simmonsiana O’Leary and Maslin (ms)

Simmons Wattle

Bushy, rounded, spreading shrub to 2 m high and to 4 m across. Branchlets glabrous. New shoots glabrous. Stipules 2–4 (–5) mm long, often not drying black as in A. halliana , usually deciduous on N.S.W. specimens. Phyllodes oblanceolate or sometimes narrowly elliptic, shallowly incurved or some straight, (12–) 14–45 (–72) mm long, (2–) 3–9 (–15) mm wide, commonly variable in size on a single branch, narrowed at apex to a small, straight to hooked, innocuous to coarsely pungent point, ascending to erect, glabrous, green to grey-green, 1-nerved per face; gland mostly 5–16 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences simple and commonly 2 per axil, sometimes rudimentary racemes (1- or 2-headed) with axes to 1 mm long; peduncles (2–) 4–10 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, 4–5 mm diam. (dry), (16–) 24–34 (36–)-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods terete, not or scarcely constricted between the seeds, strongly curved, to 70 mm long, 2.5–4 mm wide, firmly chartaceous to thinly crustaceous, black. Seeds longitudinal, 3–4 mm long; aril terminal, conical, creamy white.

Discontinuous in SE Australia; extending from S.A. (Kangaroo Is., Monarto - Goolwa and around Bordertown), eastwards to far NW Vic. (Little and Big Deserts) and south-central N.S.W. (near West Wyalong). The disjunction between north western Victoria and the south-central New South Wales is a somewhat similar pattern to that which is found in A. brachybotrya and A. microcarpa . Appears to favour shallow depressions in undulating country, on red-brown loam over limestone.

Related closely to A. halliana which differs most obviously in branchlets normally appressed-hairy, new shoots densely clothed with pale yellow, appressed hairs, phyllodes straight to shallowly recurved and generally larger (3–7 cm long and 4–15 mm wide), heads larger (35–55-flowered and c. 6 mm diam. when dry) and pods clearly constricted between the seeds and usually loosely and irregularly twisted. A. simmonsiana has a generally more southerly distribution than A. halliana .

Also related to A. merrallii and A. mutabilis . Acacia merrallii is recognized by its thicker, shorter and proportionately broader phyllodes (usually 8–25 mm long and 5–17 mm wide with l:w = 1.2–3) and its orange or bright yellow aril which sheaths up to 1/3 of seed. Acacia mutabilis can be distinguished from A. simmonsiana by the adaxial margin of its phyllodes being 2-nerved in the region between the gland and the pulvinus (1-nerved in A. simmonsiana ).  Acacia mutabilis subsp. incurva has incurved phyllodes, similar to those found on A . simmonsiana , however, this subspecies is distinguished by its gland being located closer to the pulvinus (1–5 mm) and its generally shorter peduncles (3–6 mm). As implied by it’s epithet A. mutabilis is a variable taxon and despite the treatment by Maslin (1999) further work is needed to better understand the nature of the variation and accordingly, the relationship of this species to its relatives, including A. simmonsiana .

Although both A. simmonsiana and A. halliana have in the past been confounded with A. microcarpa they are not especially closely related to this species, fide, B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 6: 35–46 (1987). Acacia simmonsiana superficially resembles A. x grayana (syn. A. microcarpa var. linearis ) which is distinguished by its hairy new shoots and peduncles, caducous stipules, broader pods (c. 6 mm wide) and funicle folded along one side of the seed. The concept of A. microcarpa var. linearis by J.H.Willis, Victorian Naturalist 73: 156 (1957), was based in part on a specimen of A. simmonsiana, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 6: 39 (1987).

Type of accepted name

3.5 km by road S of Monarto South, S.A., 19 Sept. 1985, B.R. Maslin 5977; holo: PERTH; iso: AD, K, NSW.


[ A. iteaphylla var. latifolia F.Muell., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 3: 125 (1859), not as to lectotype, as to Murray R., near Wellington, 1 May 1849, Wuerth; fide B.R. Maslin, Nuytsia 12: 353 (1999)].

Representative collections

S.A: Goolwa, 14 Dec. 1940, J.B.Cleland (AD 97427361, MEL 1500364 – mounted on holotype sheet of A. x grayana ); Hundred Line Rd, Kangaroo Is., M.C.O’Leary 2371 (AD, PERTH); Finnis to Milang Road, D.E. Murfet 147 (AD). N.S.W.: 4.8 km NE of West Wyalong, R. Coveny 2376 (NSW, PERTH); Kikoira – Weethalla road, 20 Sept. 1956, C.K. Ingram s.n. (NSW 121887). Vic.: 8 mi [13 km] S of Red Bluff, R.V. Smith ( B.J. Conn no. 59/220) (MEL 672784); Little Desert, Sept. 1930, H.B .Williamson s.n. (MEL 616109).

In Fl. Australia this species is treated as a variant under A. halliana .

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