Acacia gregorii F.Muell.
Acacia gregorii F.Muell.
Occurs from Quobba N to near Wickham, including Barrow and Montebello Is., with an outlier in the Kennedy Ra., central western W.A.
Dense prostrate or low-spreading shrub to 0.2–0.5 m m high and to 2 m across. Branchlets pubescent to puberulous. Stipules triangular to ovate, 1.5–3.5 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, acuminate, scarious, striate. Phyllodes ovate, elliptic, oblong-elliptic or obovate, (0.6–) 1–2 cm long, (4–) 6–11 mm wide, ±undulate, with innocuous to pungent mucro, pubescent to puberulous, 1‑nerved per face; lateral nerves obscure. Inflorescences simple or rudimentary 1-headed racemes with axes < 0.5 mm long with new shoots; peduncles 5–20 mm long, pubescent to puberulous, sometimes with bract near or above middle; heads globular or obloid, 7–8 mm diam., 35–60-flowered, golden; bracteoles acuminate, exserted in young buds. Flowers 5‑merous; sepals united; petals 1-nerved. Pods crowded on receptacle, oblong, 0.5–1.8 cm long, 4–6 mm wide, usually 1- or 2-seeded and pilose to hirsute, thinly coriaceous-crustaceous. Seeds longitudinal to oblique, ovate, obliquely truncate adjacent to aril, 3 mm long, slightly shiny, dark brown.
Grows in coastal sand or limestone, on plains and rocky hills, with spinifex or in heath.
W.A.: near Mia Mia Stn, North West Coastal Hwy, A.M.Ashby 5173 (BRI, MEL, NSW, PERTH); near old Merlinleigh HS, Kennedy Ra., J.S.Beard 4374 (PERTH); 10 km N of Quobba Stn HS, A.S.George 10153 (PERTH, TLF); c. 9 km N of Exmouth on road to Yardie Ck, B.R.Maslin 4748 (CANB, MEL, PERTH).
None of the K, MEL or NSW syntypes give Walcott as collector but the former is annotated by F.Mueller as ‘Gregory’s Expedition’. As Walcott was a botanical collector (with Maitland Brown) on F.A.Gregory’s expedition to north-western W.A. in 1861 it is likely that he collected this specimen. A second sheet of A. gregorii at MEL is erroneously labelled ‘Acacia. Prickly and very Rigid, not in fruit–Height 6 to 10 ft. Alluvial Valley–Hearson Island’. This label probably refers to A. pyrifolia and probably accounts for the Hearson Island citation in the protologue.
A variant from near Quobba (A.S.George 10153) differs in having glabrous, 1–3-seeded pods. Few-seeded pods occur also in A. shuttleworthii.
Gregory’s wattle has considerable horticultural potential as an attractive groundcover in coastal areas, particularity on sandy soils.
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 & J.Rogers
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