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Acacia stellaticeps

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Acacia stellaticeps Kodela, Tindale & D.Keith, Nuytsia 13: 483; 485, fig. 1 (2001)

Rounded or flat-topped, glabrous, resinous shrub to 2 m high and wide. Bark smooth, later splitting irregularly, grey or dark grey. Branchlets angular towards apices, pale green, brown, or yellowish; ridges resin-crenulated. Phyllodes elliptic-obovate to narrowly elliptic-obovate or sometimes semi-orbicular, oblique, slightly curved to straight, often slightly sigmoid, (0.5–) 0.8–2.5 cm long, (3–) 4–10 (–14) mm wide, rigid, the apex with a small knob-like mucro, finely longitudinally wrinkled when dry, with 0–3 faintly visible main nerves, the minor nerves obscure, sometimes with minor anastomosing; basal gland minute, to 2 mm above pulvinus. Peduncles 5–30 mm long. Capitula 7.5–16.5 mm diam., 7–25-flowered, golden; bracteoles not tapered to filiform apex; buds spreading widely. Flowers 5-merous; calyx cupular, 0.7–1.1 mm long, barely dissected; corolla usually 3 x longer than calyx, 2.4–3.5 mm long, dissected by -2/3, the petals striated; ovary villous. Pods erect, narrowly elliptic to linear or linear-oblanceolate to narrowly oblanceolate, basally tapered, straight-sided but sometimes indented between some seeds, flat, mostly 2.5–10 cm long, 5–10 mm wide, thinly woody, scurfy, obliquely striate, opening elastically from apex; margins slightly thickened. Seeds oblique, oblong- to narrowly oblong-elliptic, 4–6 mm long, light to dark brown; pleurogram with pale halo; areole open, elongated, depressed; funicle-aril narrowly conical.

Occurs in W.A. from the north-west coast between Exmouth Gulf and Broome E across parts of the Great Sandy Desert to the Sturt Creek area and into N.T. in the Tanami area; recorded between 1800’S and 2330’S. Grows in red, sometimes clayey sand over quartzite, limestone, laterite or ironstone, on hills or sandplains, often on flats between parallel sand dunes, in open savannah, scrub heath, grassland or shrubland, often with spinifex. Flowers Feb.–Sept.

Related to A. newmanii and A. translucens in the ‘ A. stigmatophylla group’, but is distinguished by its prominently spreading, large flower-buds, often larger flowers with striated petals, and a erect knob-like to conical mucro on the phyllodes (the apical mucro is initially flattened against the lamina margin in the other species). Also related to A. setulifera .

A small flowered variant occurs in the Sturt Creek area, W.A., to The Granites-Rabbit Flat area, N.T., and is characterised by smaller, more compact capitula (5-7 mm diam.) often containing a larger number of flowers (up to 37 per head) which are usually smaller with a corolla 1.5-1.9 (-2.5) mm long, e.g. Wolf Creek Crater, A.S.George 15333 (NT, PERTH), 21 miles [33.8 km] NW of Granites, N.T., J.R.Maconochie 999 (BRI, DNA, K, MEL, NSW, NT, PERTH).

Acacia sphaerostachya is probably a hybrid between A. ancistrocarpa and A. stellaticeps. Acacia stellaticeps is also reputed to hybridize with A. arida and A. hilliana .

Type of accepted name

c. 19 km SSE of Sturt Creek on Tanami Track, W.A., 14 July 1974, A.C.Beauglehole 47444 & G.W.Carr 3666 ; holo: NSW; iso: DNA, MEL, PERTH n.v.


Acacia translucens var. humilis Benth., London J. Bot. 1: 364 (1842). Type: Bay of Rest, NW Coast, W.A., Feb. 1818, A.Cunningham 115 ; holo: K (photo NSW).


P.G.Kodela et al. , loc. cit .

Representative collections

W.A.: ‘Nita’, SW of Broome, F.Lullfitz 6222 & 6222a (NSW); near Well 24, Canning Stock Route, B.R.Maslin 2269 (PERTH, n.v .: CANB, K, MEL); 63.5 km N of Sandfire Roadhouse, B.R.Maslin 4880 (PERTH). N.T. (small flowered variant): 26 km S of Rabbit Flat turnoff on Tanami Track, D.Keith & B.Pellow 126 (DNA, NSW, PERTH, SYD).


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