Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Acacia shirleyi Maiden

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves, flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Habit. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Maiden, J.H. (1920) Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 53: 218. Type: Mount Rose, Eidsvold, Queensland (Dr. T.L. Bancroft, No. 14).

Common name



A small tree. Dead bark layered. Blaze odour resembles violets (Viola odorata).


Leaves phyllodineous. Leaf blades about 10-15 x 0.2-0.7 cm. Venation almost limited to a midrib which is raised on each surface of the leaf blade. A gland is usually present near the leaf blade-petiole junction. Petiole transversely wrinkled.


Spikes moderately dense, about 2-3.5 cm long on peduncles about 5-9 mm long. Calyx about 0.5-0.8 mm long, with densely hirsute, obtuse lobes about 0.2-0.3 mm long. Corolla lobes glabrous, fused to about the middle, strongly reflexed, about 1.5-1.9 mm long. Stamens about 3 mm long, ovary densely pubescent.


Pod somewhat woody, longitudinally wrinkled, resinous, raised over the seeds and slightly constricted between them. Pods about 12 x 0.45 cm. Seeds longitudinally oriented in the pod, 4 x 2.5 mm. Funicle expanded and folded about four times under the seed.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 5-7 x 2-3 mm. First leaf pinnate, second leaf bipinnate, leaflets unequal-sided, hairy along the margin. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade phyllodineous, linear to linear-falcate, apex apiculate, base attenuate, hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces, midrib thick and prominent, other veins thin and flat; stipules linear-triangular, hairy, about 2 mm long. Seed germination time 7 to 12 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NT, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland, also in inland Queensland. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from 100-600 m. Grows in monsoon forest or dry scrubs but does not grow in or near well developed rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Shrub to small tree that has horticultural potential producing masses of yellow flowers in spikes.

Racosperma shirleyi (Maiden) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2(3): 355(1984).
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.