Acacias of Australia

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Acacia atkinsiana Maslin

Common Name

Atkins’ Wattle




Fortescue Botanical District, north-western W.A., from Mt Bruce, Hamersley Ra. NW to Yarraloola Stn.


Spreading, often ±obconic, rather dense, normally multi-stemmed shrub 1–3.5 m tall. Bark grey, smooth except fissured at base of main stems. Branchlets terete, glabrous. Phyllodes ascending to erect, very narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate, flat, ±straight or more commonly incurved, 6–14.5 cm long, (4–) 5–10 (–12) mm wide, coriaceous, not particularly rigid, with a brown obtuse knob-like apical callosity, silvery grey-green or ±pale green, glabrous, finely multistriate (with 1 or 3 nerves slightly more prominent) and nonanastomosing; basal gland indistinct. Peduncles rather stout, 8–15 mm long, glabrous. Heads obloid or sometimes globular, densely flowered. Flowers mostly 5-merous; calyx dissected for 1/5, with lobes broadly triangular, resin-papillose; corolla glabrous. Pods linear, flat, slightly curved, to 10 cm long, 4–6 mm wide, thinly crustaceous to firmly chartaceous, glabrous, greyish brown; ridged on either side by thickened margins. Seeds longitudinal, dark brown, with yellowish halo surrounding pleurogram; areole less than 0.5 mm long; aril extending down 1/3 seed length.


Flowers recorded for most months of the year; main flush apparently around June–July.


Grows in rocky loam on spinifex (Triodia pungens, T. wiseana) plains.


W.A.: 150 miles [240 km] S of Dampier, B.Maloney 73/53 (CANB, NSW, PERTH); 120 km from Wittenoom towards Roebourne, B.R.Maslin 2733 (AD, MEL, NSW, PERTH); 22.5 km S of Robe R. crossing on North West Coastal Hwy, B.R.Maslin 2761 (B, BM, G, NSW, P, PERTH).


Acacia atkinsiana is closely allied to A. rhodophloia which is most readily distinguished by its ‘Minni Ritchi’ bark and often cylindrical inflorescences.

Although the phyllodes of A. atkinsiana contain relatively high concentrations of cyanogenic glycoside the species is not known to be incriminated in stock losses.

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

Edited by B.R.Maslin