Acacias of Australia

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Acacia equisetifolia Maslin & Cowie




Known only from Graveside Gorge in the Kakadu Natl Park, 220 km ESE of Darwin, N.T.


Erect shrub to c. 1 m tall. Branchlets densely villous with the weak hairs c. 1 mm long, white and shallowly curved. Stipules 1–2 mm long. Phyllodes 10–17 per whorl, (10–) 15–20 mm long, slender (0.3–0.4 mm wide), ascending to erect (young) aging patent, mostly shallowly to moderately incurved, terete, sub-terete or flattish, dull green, villosulous, excentrically mucronate with mucro 0.1–0.3 mm long, nerves not visible. Peduncles mostly 15–30 mm long, villous as on branchlets. Heads 30–35-flowered. Flowers 5-merous; calyx very small (¼ or less the length of corolla), the sepals free and oblong to oblong-elliptic; petals nerveless or obscurely 1-nerved, apically short-pilose. Pods (slightly immature) sessile, 10–30 mm long, 8–10 mm wide, ±thinly crustaceous, flat but obviously raised over seeds, straight to slightly curved, blackish, viscid, villous, ±nerveless. Seeds transverse to ±oblique in the pods.


Because of the paucity of collections phenology incomplete. Flowers in Feb.; near-mature pods present in Mar., Aug. and Oct.


Grows on sandstone slopes and ledges at the tops of sheer cliffs.


N.T.: Graveside Gorge, Kakadu Natl Park, K.G.Brennan 6735 (DNA, NT) and V.J. Levitzke 806 (DNA).


Close to A. hippuroides from west Kimberley region of W.A. which differs by having indumentum on peduncles and upper branchlets normally pale golden with generally shorter hairs (c. 0.5 mm long) that are patent and ±straight, normally gamosepalous calyces dissected for ¼–¾ into triangular or oblong lobes, often more strongly curved pods that are wider (8–15 mm), more obviously viscid, reticulately nerved and with a generally sparser indumentum.


Considered critically endangered (see Maslin, Bruce & Cowie, Ian. (2014). Acacia equisetifolia, a rare, new species of acacia sect. Lycopodiifoliae (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) from the top end of the Northern territory. Nuytsia. 24. 1-5., for discussion).

FOA Reference

Flora of Australia Project