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Acacia valida

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Acacia valida Tindale & Kodela, Austral. Syst. Bot . 9: 307; 309, fig. 1 (1996)

Tree or occasionally shrub to 12 m high; branches often pendulous. Bark corky, often deeply fissured. Ultimate branchlets smooth, tomentose to velvety with long and short hairs (similar indumentum on leaf axes), becoming corky, furrowed, glabrous. Stipular spines 1.5–2 mm long, usually inconspicuous, often longer and curved on young plants and branchlets. Leaves: petiole 0.3–1.7 cm long, mostly with conspicuous, pubescent gland at base of, or slightly below, lowest pair of pinnae; rachis (3.3–) 6.3–24.5 (–30.5) cm long, with gland (sometimes twinned) at base of uppermost 1–3 pairs of pinnae; pinnae (6–) 10–45 pairs (often subopposite), (0.7–) 1.5–4.2 (–6) cm long; pinnules 11–33 (–43) pairs, narrowly oblong or lanceolate, (1.5–) 1.8–5 (–6.3) mm long, (0.5–) 0.7–1.2 (–1.7) mm wide, obtuse to broadly rounded at apex, ciliate, with midnerve and lateral nerves usually visible. Inflorescences 1 (- 5) in axils, simple or on a short axis or extending, raceme-like leafy shoot; peduncles (5–) 16–55 mm long, with involucel of bracts 1/3–1/2 (–2/3) way above base; heads globular, 14–27-flowered, pale yellow or creamy white, scented. Pods straight-sided or slightly constricted between seeds, flat or slightly convex over seeds, 4.5–25.5 cm long, 14–31.5 mm wide, woody, smooth with oblique to longitudinal nerves forming a ‘V’ pattern, glabrescent.

Occurs in the N.T. from the Tanami Tin Fields area (c. 20S) N to Darwin, and in the Kimberley region of W.A. from c. 30 km S of Turkey Creek and Cave Spring Ra. (N of Kununurra) N to Port Warrender. Grows in eucalypt woodland with grassy understorey or sometimes in open forest or grassland, often associated with Acacia tumida , A. platycarpa , A. holosericea s. lat . and/or A. hemignosta , in flat country, often near watercourses, in lateritic soil, red sand, sandy loams or clay loams, recorded on limestone and basalt/volcanics. Flowers July, Sept., Oct., probably periodic to Jan.; fruits Mar.–Oct.

Formerly confused with A. bidwillii , from which it differs by having mostly broader, hairy (later glabrescent) pods, often longer, tomentose to velvety rachises usually with jugary gland(s) near apex, and often more numerous pairs of pinnae and pinnules. Specimens were often labelled with an early manuscript name A. calcigera .

Part of the illustration in Mueller’s Iconography of A. bidwillii is probably A. valida , only the branchlet with inflorescences and the flower details are A. bidwillii (see below).

There is considerable overlap in the dimensions of the vegetative parts of A. valida and A. douglasica

Suckers freely from roots and often forms clumps, fide J.Brock, Top End Native Pl . 58 (1988). The pale brown gum of Kundart (local name) is eaten by the Ngarinyman people of the Victoria R. area of northern Australia, fide N.Smith et al ., N. Terr. Botanical Bull . No. 16: 6 (1983), as A. calcigera ms. The leaves and pods are relished by cattle, fide R.J.Petheram & B.Kok, Pl. Kimberley Region W. Australia 357 (1983).

Type of accepted name

Mathison Ck, c. 91.5 km W of Katherine on the Victoria Hwy, N.T., 2 Aug. 1989, M.D.Tindale 10101, P.Munns & R.Turley ; holo: NSW; iso: AD, BRI, CANB, DNA, K, MEL, MO, PERTH.


Acacia pallida F.Muell., J. Linn. Soc., Bot . 3: 147 (1859), partim , non Humb. et Bonpl. ex Willd. (1806).

Acacia bidwillii Benth. var. (?) major Benth. (as ‘Bidwilli’), Fl. Austral. 2: 420 (1864). Type: (Dry) ridges of the Victoria R., Nov. 1855, F.Mueller 76 ; holo: MEL; iso: K.


R.J.Petheram & B.Kok, op. cit. 356, as A. bidwillii ; J.Brock, loc. cit. , as A. bidwillii var. major ; J.R.Wheeler, in J.R.Wheeler (ed.) et al ., Fl. Kimberley Region 332, fig. 98E (1992), as A. sp. H; M.D.Tindale & P.G.Kodela, loc. cit .

Representative collections

W.A.: Port Warrender, C.R.Dunlop 5406 (CANB, DNA, NSW, PERTH); Carson Escarpment, 29 km ENE of Doongan HS, NE Kimberleys, M.Lazarides 8670 (CANB, NSW). N.T.: Scott Ck, C.Dunlop 4023 (DNA, NSW, NT); 1/2 mile [0.8 km] SW of Dorisvale HS, M.Lazarides 6709 (BRI, CANB, K, NSW, PERTH); 14 km N of Mataranka on the Stuart Hwy, M.D.Tindale 6078 & C.Dunlop (BM, BRI, CANB, MO, 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