Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Acacia flavescens A.Cunn. ex Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1842) The London Journal of Botany 1: 381. Type: N.E. Coast, Cunningham [Given by L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1 (1978) 217 as Percy Islands, June 318/1819, Cunningham (K, holo).].

Common name

Red Wattle; Wattle, Red; Yellow Wattle


Dead bark layered.


Leaf blades green, phyllodineous. Veins longitudinal, transversely reticulate, three running +/- parallel with the blade margin appear more prominent than the rest. Leaf blades about 9-24 x 2-4 cm, margins thickened and vein like. Between one and five small projecting glands along the more curved margin of the leaf blade and a similar structure at the junction of the leaf blade and the petiole. Stellate hairs visible with a lens on the young shoots and leaves.


Inflorescence consists of panicles of heads of flowers, head peduncles about 10-15 mm long and clothed in dense yellowish hairs, heads about (30-)40-50 flowered. Calyx about 1.1-1.3(-1.6)mm long, lobes about 0.3-0.5 mm long, usually pubescent. Corolla about 1.7-1.9(-2.1) mm long, lobes pubescent, about 0.6-0.8 mm long, corolla about 1.5 times as long as the calyx. Stamens about 4-5 mm long. Ovary densely pubescent.


Pod flat, transversely veined, about 6-12 x 1.5-2 cm. Seeds brown to black, transversely oriented in the pod, about 6 x 4 mm. Funicle cream to pale green, but brown when dry, ribbon-like, folded and finally expanded into a cupular aril-like structure.


Cotyledons oblong, elliptic-obovate, about 7-9 mm long. First leaf pinnate, second leaf bipinnate. By the third or fourth leaf stage: leaves bipinnate, petiole expanded and flattened. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves simple, phyllodineous, ovate, unequal-sided, longest side of the leaf blade with about 3-6 glandular teeth along the margin, upper and lower surfaces with sparse pale stellate hairs, more frequent towards the base; petiole and stem stellate hairy, terminal bud densely clothed in pale stellate hairs; stipules triangular. Seed germination time 9 to 17 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Possibly endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1000 m. Usually grows in open forest but also found on the margins of monsoon forest and rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Blue Jewel Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Acacia flavescens var. typica Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 818(1928). Racosperma flavescens (Benth.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2(4): 348(1987). Acacia flavescens Benth. var. flavescens, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 818(1928). Acacia flavescens var. nobilis Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 818(1928), Type: Queensland: Savannenwulder am Cape Grafton, (DOMIN I. 1910). [given by L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1 (1978) 217.
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