Acacias of Australia

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Acacia continua Benth.

Common Name

Thorn Wattle, Thorny Wattle




Common in S.A. from Eyre Peninsula and Flinders and Lofty Ranges S to near Adelaide, and scattered localities eastward to near Lake Cargellico, N.S.W.


Openly branching rigid shrub to 2 m high. Branchlets terete, ribbed, glabrous. Phyllodes continuous with branchlets but not forming cauline wings, ascending, straight or ±recurved, often kinked at large gland, ±terete, with lower ones 2–4 cm long, 1.5–2 mm diam. basally and upper ones shorter, tapering to pungent tip, glabrous, with c. 7 distant nerves. Inflorescences simple, 1 or 2 per axil; peduncles 2–6 (–8) mm long, glabrous; basal bracts dark brown and prominent; heads globular, 6–10 mm diam., ±30-flowered, golden; bracteoles widely spathulate, obtuse, dark brown, evident in buds. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods linear, constricted between and raised on alternate sides over seeds, curved to once-coiled, to 8 cm long, 3–4 mm wide, coriaceous, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, elliptic, 3–8 mm long, dull brown; aril lateral, clavate.


Grows in hard alkaline, calcareous and sandy alkaline soils, in woodland, open scrub and Triodia grassland.


S.A.: Miccollo Hill, Gawler Ra., B.J.Conn 1813 (K, MEL, NSW, PERTH, TL); Eyre Peninsula, Mt Gairdner, N.N.Donner 3355 (AD, PERTH); Port Germein Gorge, Southern Flinders Ra., D.J.E.Whibley 2031 (AD, PERTH). N.S.W.: Mootwingee Natl Park, P.E.Conrick 1461 (AD, PERTH).


The arrangement of inflorescence and peduncular bracts, bracteoles, united sepals and curved to coiled pods suggest this species is nearest the ‘A. pravifolia group’, in spite of the form of the phyllodes which in that group are commonly inequilateral, articulate on the stem and flattened.

FOA Reference

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


B.R.Maslin, R.S.Cowan

Minor edits by J.Rogers