Acacias of Australia

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Acacia erinacea Benth.




Widespread from Kalbarri Natl Park S to Broomehill and E to Eucla, south-western W.A., extending just into the extreme SW of S.A.


Rigid, intricate, spreading shrub, commonly 0.3–1 m high, sometimes forming prostrate mats or reaching 2 m high, glabrous. Branchlets short, patent, divaricate, whitish scurfy, finely ribbed, spinose, often aphyllous. New shoots red to red-brown. Phyllodes mostly ascending to erect, obliquely oblong to oblong-elliptic or oblong-oblanceolate, 5–12 mm long, 2–4 mm wide, acute to obtuse, excentrically mucronate, grey-green to glaucous, sometimes whitish scurfy; midrib ±obscure; lateral nerves absent or obscure. Inflorescences rudimentary racemes with axes > 0.5 mm long; peduncles 4–12 mm long, often red to red-brown; heads globular, 12–22-flowered, golden; bracteoles c. 0.5 mm long. Flowers 5-merous, sometimes 4-merous; sepals united into a very short cup. Pods oblong to narrowly oblong, slightly biconvex, straight, usually 1–3 cm long and 7–10 mm wide, usually crustaceous, without internal partitions. Seeds oblique, 3.5–4 mm long, oblong-ovate to widely elliptic, one side often flattened, shiny, dark brown; aril subterminal.


Grows in clay, sandy clay, sand, laterite, gravel and loam, in open eucalypt woodland, mallee woodland and sandplain scrub, on hills and on flatlands.


W.A.: 27.2 km N of Clyde Hill, M.A.Burgman 1814 & S.McNee (PERTH); Swan R., J.Drummond (?2:) 163 (C, CGE, G, K, LUND, MEL, OXF, P); 8 km S of Cocklebiddy, A.S.George 11825 (PERTH, TLF); 16 km S of Cunderdin towards Quairading, B.R.Maslin 212 (PERTH). S.A.: c. 16 km E of S.A.–W.A. State border [on Eyre Hwy], R.J.Chinnock 3350 (PERTH).


A variant with thinly coriaceous pods 3–5 cm long, 4–7 mm wide and variably constricted between seeds occurs intermittently in south-western W.A., especially in the Kalgoorlie region (e.g. 4.8 km S of Siberia, B.R.Maslin 1919, PERTH). In flower this variant seems indistinguishable from typical A. erinacea.

Sometimes confused with A. improcera, A. jacksonioides or A. spinosissima. Also similar to A. deficiens and superficially similar to A. kochii. The prostrate forms may superficially resemble A. intricata.

FOA Reference

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