Acacias of Australia

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Acacia epacantha (Maslin) Maslin




Restricted to the Eneabba–Dandaragan area, south-western W.A.


Shrub 0.3-0.5 m high, dense, spreading. Branchlet indumentum variable. Axillary spines 1 per node, 1-2 cm long. Pinnae 1 pair, usually 1-2 mm long; apices acute, 0.5-1.5 mm long and normally dark brown; petiole normally < 0.5 mm long; terminal seta 1.5-3 mm long, dark brown; pinnules 2 pairs, usually 6-10 mm long and 0.7-1.5 mm wide, revolute, green, glabrous to hirsutellous; gland on petiole at base of pinnae, sessile, minute. Inflorescences simple, situated near or above middle of axillary spine; peduncles 7-10 mm long, appressed-puberulous to glabrous; heads globular, 23-26-flowered, golden; bracteoles acuminate, exserted in buds. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 1/2-3/4-united. Pods curved to circinnate, 1.5-4 cm long, 4-7 mm wide, shortly villous with shiny and straight or subcrisped hairs. Seeds longitudinal, oblong to circular, 2.5-3.5 mm long.


Grows in lateritic loam or clay, in heath and open Wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo) woodland.


W.A.: N of Dandaragan, C.A.Gardner 9285 (PERTH); 5 km S of Mt Lesueur, E.A.Griffin 2662 (PERTH); SE corner of Reserve 38966 SE of Eneabba off Rose Thompson Rd, M.Hislop 3276 (PERTH); 15 km N of Badgingarra, P.G.Wilson 3838 (AD, BRI, PERTH).


The specimen M.Hislop 3276 from within the geographic range of the species has atypically large leaves, pinnae to 8 mm long and pinnules to 16 mm long and 4 mm wide.

Acacia epacantha and A. fagonioides are unique members of the ‘A. pulchella group’ in having inflorescences borne on axillary spines which commonly have the appearance of short branchlets. The long, revolute pinnules readily distinguish A. epacantha.

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