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Acacia victoriae

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Acacia victoriae Benth., in T.L.Mitchell, J. Exped. Trop. Australia 333 (1848)

Elegant Wattle , Bramble Wattle , Prickly Wattle , Gundabluey , Narran, and more

Shrub or tree 2–5 m high, sometimes to 9 m. Branchlets often pruinose, glabrous, sometimes hairy. Stipules spinose, commonly only bases persisting at mature nodes, 2–12 mm long. Phyllodes variable, linear to narrowly oblong, lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, straight or incurved, usually 2–5 cm long and 2–8 mm wide with l:w = 2–13, green to grey-green or glaucous, usually glabrous; midrib prominent; lateral nerves usually obscure; gland basal, obscure or prominent. Inflorescences normally racemose but peduncles sometimes subtended by a secondary phyllode; raceme axes 1–10 cm long, slender; peduncles mostly twinned, 6–18 mm long, slender, glabrous, sometimes hairy; heads prolific, globular, 15–30-flowered, creamy white to pale lemon-yellow. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free, narrowly spathulate. Pods narrowly oblong, to 8 cm long, 9–16 mm wide, chartaceous, glabrous. Seeds transverse, globose, 4–6 mm long, brown, mottled blackish; funicle short, thick, scarcely arillate.

Widespread in all mainland States except Vic. where it occurs only near Mildura and in The Sunset Country. Arid and subtropical areas in a variety of habitats but commonly in clay or loam on alluvial flats, also (especially subsp. arida ) in sand.

A variable species. Some specimens from the Kimberley region (W.A.) and Qld have phyllodes to 10 cm long with l:w = 25 or more. In NW Qld the pennivenation on phyllodes is prominent, fide L. Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 270 (1980). B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 8: 306, fig. 7 (1992), shows phyllode variation in A. victoriae .

One subspecies has been described, A. victoriae subsp. arida Pedley. However, its taxonomic status requires further investigation. Specimens ascribed to this taxon have densely tomentose branchlets and phyllodes and occur in sandy soil in southern N.T., northern S.A., western N.S.W. and south-west Qld. Hairy branchlets and phyllodes also occur in typical A. victoriae but the indumentum, especially on the phyllodes, is usually sparser. Intermediates occur between the two subspecies.

The taxonomy of the ‘A. victoriae group’ is discussed in B.R. Maslin, Nuytsia 8: 285–309 (1992). The 10 species assigned to this group are: A. alexandri , A. aphanoclada , A. chartacea , A. cuspidifolia , A. dempsteri , A. glaucocaesia , A. pickardii , A. ryaniana , A. synchronicia and A. victoriae .

In the absence of flowers A. victoriae may be confused with A. synchronicia , or when phyllodes are long and linear, with A. alexandri ; A. glaucocaesia may ultimately be better placed within A. victoriae . Acacia victoriae is distinguished from A. murrayana by its commonly shorter phyllodes which lack apical glands, spinose stipules, twinned peduncles and mottled seeds.

The ‘A. victoriae group’ appears closely related to the ‘ A. pyrifolia group’.

Moderate nutritive value and a useful stock food supplement during droughts. This species is the one most commonly used as a human food in the Bush Tucker industry, fide B.R. Maslin et al. (1998), Edible Wattle Seeds of Southern Australia (CSIRO Publishing: Australia.). Useful as a low windbreak and for soil stabilisation in dry country, especially as it can readily regenerate from suckers and sometimes forms thickets. Numbers may increase markedly during a succession of wet seasons and can become a nuisance, especially around watering points. The utilisation and ecology of the species are fully discussed in J.W.Turnbull (ed.), Multipurpose Austral. Trees & Shrubs (1986). The foliage and range condition indicator values of A. victoriae are discussed by A.A.Mitchell & D.G.Wilcox, Arid Shrubland Pl. W. Australia 290 (1988).

Type of accepted name

‘Victoria River’ [= Barcoo R., 2440’S, 14601’E], Qld, 1 Oct. 1846, T.L.Mitchell ‘620’ ; holo: K; iso: CGE.


Acacia sentis F.Muell. ex Benth., Fl. Austral. 2: 360 (1864), nom. illeg. (includes type of A. victoriae ); A. sentis var. victoriae (Benth.) Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 254 (1926); Racosperma victoriae (Benth.) Pedley, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 92: 249 (1986). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia sentis F.Muell., Second Gen. Rep. 12 (1854), nom . nud .; Pl. Victoria 2: 18 (1863), nom. inval. (not effectively published).

Acacia decora var. spinescens Benth. (sphalm. ‘pinescens’), Linnaea 26: 620 (1855). Type: between Flinders Ra. and Spencers Gulf, S.A., F.Mueller s.n. ; syn: K; Darling R., N.S.W., F.Mueller s.n. ; n.v.

Acacia hanniana Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 253 (1926). Type: Cape York Peninsula [Palmer R., fide L.Pedley, Austrobaileya l: 271, 1980], Qld, W.Hann 59 ; holo: K. The seed mounted on the type sheet are possibly those of Distichostemon malvaceus , fide L.Pedley, loc. cit.

Acacia coronalis J.M.Black, Trans. & Proc. Roy. Soc. S. Australia 71: 20 (1947). Type: Crown Point, Finke R., N.T.; n.v. , fide B.R.Maslin, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 2: 319 (1980).

[ Acacia decora auct. non Rchb.: G.Bentham, Linnaea 26: 620 (1855) and F.J.H. von Mueller, J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 3: 128 (1859)]


F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 4 (1887), as A. sentis ; K.Askew & A.S.Mitchell, Fodder Trees & Shrubs N. Terr. 23 (1978); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 375 (l98l); L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 316 (1981); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 69 & 71 (1992).

Representative collections

W.A.: 8 km S of Mt Anderson, near Fitzroy R., T.E.H.Aplin 5168 (BRI, K, PERTH); 66 km from Wittenoom towards Roebourne, B.R.Maslin 2729 (AD, NT, PERTH). N.T.: L. Amadeus, P.K.Latz 5705 (PERTH). S.A.: c. 130 km along Rig road, E of Purnie Bore, Simpson Desert, B.Maloney 12/83 (PERTH—subsp. arida ); Black Oak Ck, 62 km SE of Pimba, L.Thomson 48 (PERTH). Qld: 56 km S of Boulia on road to Birdsville, B.Maloney 20/70 (PERTH). NSW: 8.4 km E of Pulgamurtie HS, G.A.Parr-Smith 1263 (PERTH—subsp. arida ). Vic.: Sunset Desert N of Birthday Tank, Sunset Country, far NW Vic., J.Luly ANU30086 (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