Acacias of Australia

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Acacia carneorum Maiden

Common Name

Needle Wattle, Dead Finish, Purple-wood Wattle




Scattered from SW of Lake Frome and near Peterborough, S.A., to near Tibooburra and Menindee Lakes, N.S.W.


Straggly spreading gregarious shrub or tree to 5 m high; habit similar to some Hakea spp. (e.g. H. leucoptera). Branchlet apices densely tomentulose-puberulous. Phyllodes sessile, patent to inclined, quadrangular in section with a yellow or light brown nerve at apex of each angle, (2–) 3–9 cm long, 1–2 (–2.5) mm wide, pungent, thick, rigid; indumentum appressed-puberulous, becoming sparse or absent with age. Inflorescences simple, normally 1 per axil; peduncles 8–30 mm long, appressed-puberulous; heads globular, 35–60-flowered, bright golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods rarely produced, narrowly oblong, 2–5 cm long, 8–12 mm wide, thickly coriaceous to woody, dehiscing from apex. Seeds longitudinal, elliptic, c. 6 mm long, aril large and yellowish.


Flowering is sporadic and probably related to rainfall; apparently few pods are produced.


Grows on sand ridges or sandy flats in mulga communities or with Callitris glaucophylla, or in alluvium along watercourses in chenopod low shrubland.


S.A.: Minburra Stn, 30 Apr. 1965, S.A. Pastoral Board (AD); Bimbowri Stn, D.J.E.Whibley 6133 (AD, MO). N.S.W.: 8 km NW of Hewart Downs HS, J.Pickard 1750 (NSW); 6 km W of Tandou HS, J.Pickard 2347 (K, NSW).


Biochemically related to A. crombiei and A. peuce, see A. crombiei for note. Perhaps distantly related to A. atrox.

Following N.Hall & L.A.S.Johnson, The Names of Acacias of New South Wales 34 (1993), the epithet ‘carneorum’ is adopted here instead of ‘carnei’.

An excellent sand binder due to its gregarious, suckering habit.

FOA Reference

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



Minor edits by B.R.Maslin & J.Reid