Acacias of Australia

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Acacia echinula DC.

Common Name

Hedgehog Wattle




Occurs in eastern N.S.W. between Howes Valley and Nowra, and further N near Grafton.


Intricate decumbent or erect shrub to 2 m high. Branchlets hirsutellous to puberulous. Stipules normally ±setaceous, 1–2 mm long. Phyllodes rather crowded, ±subsessile, often subverticillate, patent to inclined, terete or subterete, often drying quadrangular or ±flat with a pronounced midrib on each face, 5–14 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, pungent, rigid, green, glabrous; gland obscure, 0.5–2 mm above base. Inflorescences simple, 1 per axil; peduncles 5–15 mm long, stout, glabrous; basal bracts 3 and fused; heads globular, large, 5–10 mm diam. (dry), densely 25–42-flowered, usually mid-golden; bracteole laminae long-acuminate, 1.5–2 mm long, dark brown, exserted beyond flowers in bud. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 1/3–2/3-united; petals 1‑nerved. Pods to 4 cm long, (3–) 4–5 mm wide, thinly coriaceous-crustaceous, blackish, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong-elliptic, 4 mm long, dark brown, obscurely mottled yellow, exarillate; funicle filiform.


Usually grows in sand over sandstone, in dry sclerophyll forest or sometimes in heath.


N.S.W.: between Putty and Windsor, 8 Sept. 1948, E.F.Constable s.n. (NSW, PERTH); Bunyabba Nature Reserve, c. 25 km N of Grafton, R.Coveny 4987 (NSW); Blue Mtns Natl Park, 20 km SW of Bilpin on Bells Line of Rd to Lithgow, B.R.Maslin 5880 (NSW, PERTH).


A member of the ‘A. ulicifolia group’ recognised by its long, stout (0.5–1 mm diam.) peduncles, large flower-heads (5–10 mm diam. when dry), long-acuminate, exserted bracteoles and ±quadrangular phyllodes (when dry). Especially close to A. asparagoides. The flower-heads are usually a bright mid-golden, but sometimes they are a lighter shade of yellow (e.g. B.R.Maslin 5886, K, NSW, PERTH), although not a creamy yellow as in A. ulicifolia. May form hybrids with A. ulicifolia (see discussion under A. ulicifolia).

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