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Acacia wilhelmiana

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Acacia wilhelmiana F.Muell., Defin. Austral. Pl. 4 (28 June- 12 July 1855)

; Trans. Philos. Soc. Victoria 1: 37 (10 Sept. 1855: for discussion of publication date see O.Seberg, Taxon 35: 262- 271, 1986)

Dwarf Nealie , Wilhelmi’s Wattle , Mist Wattle

Dense, spreading, often resinous shrub to 2 (- 3) m high. Branchlets sparsely to moderately appressed-puberulous, glabrescent, commonly yellow-ribbed at extremities. Phyllodes linear or (when broad) narrowly oblong-elliptic, incurved to shallowly sigmoid, sometimes incurved only at base otherwise straight, sometimes subterete, usually 1–3 cm long, 1–4 mm wide, l:w = 5–20, commonly uncinate, glabrous to subglabrous, with 2 (rarely more) nerves per face when flat, 5-nerved in all when subterete; nerves indistinct or prominent and sometimes mealy. Inflorescences 1- or 2-headed racemes with axes to c. 1 mm long, sometimes simple; peduncles usually 2–5 mm long, densely light golden appressed-puberulous; basal bract solitary; heads globular, usually 17–22-flowered, light golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals c. 1/2-united. Pods strongly curved to openly 1 1/2-coiled, often twisted, to 6 cm long, 2–3 mm wide, glabrous, viscid when young. Seeds longitudinal, oblong, arillate.

Restricted to mallee regions of S.A., N.S.W. and Vic. Grows in sand or loamy sand on plains or dunes.

Nomenclatural history of A. wilhelmiana is discussed by A.B.Court, Muelleria 2: 159–162 (1972).

Specimens from the Flinders Ra. area, S.A., with peduncles 6–8 mm long, flowers 28–31 per head and some phyllodes 4.5–6 cm long, may warrant infraspecific status (e.g. M.Tindale s.n. , NSW108539, PERTH).

Phyllodes appear to vary continuously from broad and flat to narrow and subterete. Specimens with narrow phyllodes resemble A. johnsonii , A. pilligaensis , A. burbidgeae and other members of the ‘ A. johnsonii group’, but are distinguished by their golden-puberulous peduncles with a persistent basal bract and curved to coiled pods. Specimens with broad phyllodes resemble A. montana .

Acacia wilhelmiana together with nine close relatives ( A. abrupta , A. ascendens , A. barattensis , A. brachypoda , A. cowaniana , A. gracilifolia , A. helmsiana , A. leptalea , A. menzelii and A. viscifolia ) comprise the ‘A. wilhelmiana group’, fide B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 7: 221- 228 (1990). Acacia viscidula (which has 4-merous flowers) and A. ptychoclada are possibly also related to this group. Acacia sclerophylla var. sclerophylla is sometimes confused with A. wilhelmiana .

The Murray scrub specimens referred to in the protologue of A. nematophylla and under A. bynoeana by G.Bentham, Fl. Austral . 2: 337 (1864), are A. wilhelmiana , fide A.B.Court, Muelleria 2: 160 (1972).

Type of accepted name

‘In the Mallee Scrub on the Murray where it was first discovered by Mr Wilhelmi.’; Murray Scrub [apparently that part of the Murray Mallee, S of the modern Truro- Blanchtown Hwy, towards the Marne R., fide D.N.Kraehenbuehl, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard . 3: 111 (1981)], S.A., F.Mueller 24 ; ? syn: MEL18217; Murray Desert (in Mueller’s hand), S.A., collector not given; ?syn: K, MEL18215.


Acacia calamifolia var. wilhelmiana (F.Muell.) Benth. (as ‘Wilhelmsiana’), Fl. Austral. 2: 339 (1864). Type: as for accepted name.

Acacia leptophylla F.Muell., Fragm . 4: 9 (1863), nom. illeg., non (Cav.) DC. (1813). Type: Gulf of Carpentaria [this locality is undoubtedly an error, fide A.B.Court, Muelleria 2: 159 (1972)], F.Mueller s.n .; holo: MEL18218.

Acacia bynoeana var. latifolia J.M.Black, Fl. S. Australia 2nd edn, 2: 418, fig. 576 (1948), nom. inval . (no Latin description or diagnosis provided). Type: Karoonda, Loxton, S.A.; syn: n.v .; near Cowell, S.A.; syn: n.v .; near Broken Hill, N.S.W.; syn: n.v .; north-western Vic.; syn: n.v . Synonymy following A.B.Court, loc. cit .

[ Acacia bynoeana auct. plur. , non Benth. (1855): G.Bentham, Fl. Austral . 2: 337 (1864); J.H.Maiden, J. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New South Wales 53: 176 (1920)]


F. von Mueller, Iconogr. Austral. Acacia dec. 3 (1887), as A. bynoeana ; J.M.Black, Trans. & Proc. Roy. Soc. S. Australia 41: pl. 11, figs 7–13 (1917), as A. bynoeana ; L.F.Costermans, Native Trees & Shrubs SE Australia 323 (1981); G.M.Cunningham et al. , Pl. W New South Wales 375 (1981); M.Simmons, Acacias Australia 2: 107 (1988); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 189 (1992).

Representative collections

S.A.: 58 km N Cowell, B.Copley 3080 (NSW). N.S.W.: 1.8 km W of Euabalong West, G.M.Cunningham 450 & P.L.Milthorpe (NSW). Vic.: 16 km SW of Hattah, G.R.Lucas 186 (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