Acacias of Australia

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Acacia abbreviata Maslin

Common Name

Tanami Wattle, Tanami Flying-saucer Bush




Restricted to the Tanami district, N.T., near the W.A. border.


Shrub 0.3–0.6 m high, 1–3.6 m diam., spreading, ±glabrous, resinous. Bark ±smooth, minutely fissured, pale greyish brown. Branchlets angular towards apices, yellowish to red-brown, minutely resin-haired, glabrescent; ridges obscure. Phyllodes to 6 per node, linear, narrowly oblong or very narrowly oblanceolate, straight to shallowly sigmoid, ±terete, 0.4–2.5 cm long, 0.5–1.2 (–3) mm wide, mucronulate, thick, glabrous, multistriate; nerves indistinct; gland 1, obscure, basal, to 3 mm above pulvinus. Spikes 0.7–1.5 (–2) cm long, golden. Flowers 5‑merous; calyx 1.0–1.4 mm long, dissected to 1/3–2/3, glabrous; corolla 1.6–2.2 mm long, dissected to 1/3–1/2, glabrous; ovary capped, glabrous, minutely tuberculate. Pods linear-oblanceolate, tapering towards base, flat, 2.5–6.5 cm long, 3–5 mm wide, subwoody, opening elastically from apex; margins prominent. Seeds oblique to longitudinal, narrowly oblong, 3–4.5 mm long, brown; funicle-aril narrowly turbinate.


Flowers Apr.–Oct.


Grows in shallow red clay loam on stony lateritic plains and ridges with spinifex.


N.T.: Tanami, 2 miles [3.2 km] W of old mine, C.R.Dunlop 2342 (BRI, CANB, DNA, NSW, PERTH); 4 miles [6.4 km] from Tanami towards W.A. border, C.H.Gittins 2303 (BRI, NSW); Tanami Mining Camp, J.R.Maconochie 1099 (AD, BRI, DNA, MEL, NSW, PERTH).


An unusual flat phyllode form occurs at the type locality. Its phyllodes are 2–3 mm wide and oblong-oblanceolate, e.g. 6 km W of Tanami Mine, Apr. 1991, G.Tuckerman s.n. (NSW, PERTH). B.R.Maslin, in J.Jessop (ed.), Fl. Centr. Australia 137 (1981) suggested that A. abbreviata may be of hybrid origin (A. hilliana × A. minutifolia).

FOA Reference

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 11A (2001), 11B (2001) and 12 (1998), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia


Dr M.D.Tindale and Dr P.G.Kodela with the assistance of M.Bedward, S.J.Davies, C.Herscovitch, D.A.Keith and/or D.A.Morrison

Minor edits by J.Rogers