Acacias of Australia

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Acacia havilandiorum Maiden

Common Name

Needle Wattle, Haviland’s Wattle




Discontinuous from the Eyre Peninsula, S.A. to near Gilgandra, N.S.W. but found mainly in Flinders Ra., S.A. and Griffith–Cobar area of N.S.W. In Vic. known only from west of Horsham in the NW (early collections from near Ouyen (in 1912) and Gerang Gerung (in 1918) are possibly from populations now extinct).


Bushy shrub 1.5–3 m high; occasionally tree to 4 m high. Branchlets terete, glabrous. Phyllodes inclined to ascending, straight or slightly incurved, often incurved abruptly at gland, terete or subterete, 3–9 cm long, 0.8–1.5 mm wide, pungent to ±innocuous, rigid, very brittle and snapping easily and cleanly, grey-green, with numerous closely parallel fine nerves; gland in central part of phyllode. Inflorescences simple, 1–3 per axil; peduncles 4–8 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, 20–30-flowered, bright yellow; bracteoles obovate, oblong or quadrate. Flowers 4-merous; sepals irregularly united near base to 1/2‑united. Pods linear, ±constricted between seeds, straight or shallowly curved, to 10 cm long, 2–3 mm wide, thin-coriaceous, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong to ovate-elliptic, 3–3.5 mm long, glossy, dark brown; aril subapical, hood-like.


Grows chiefly in sandy or loamy red soils in mallee and woodland communities on rocky hillsides and ridges.


S.A.: Paralana, North Flinders Ra., J.Carrick 2029 (PERTH); 8 km W of Ungarra, B.Copley 3130 (PERTH). N.S.W.: 10.5 km W of Gubbata on Naradhan Rd, R.Coveny 12028 & P.Hind (AD, B, GH, K, NSW, PERTH, TL, US, Z). Vic.: between Horsham and Pimpinio on N side of an E–W road to W of the Western Hwy, Aug. 1983, K.Dobell s.n. (AD).


Often compared with A. rigens which is most readily distinguished by its hairy, ribbed branchlets and its hairy phyllodes which have fewer, yellowish nerves and which do not snap cleanly as in A. havilandiorum.

The species has been known since 1920 as A. havilandi or A. havilandii. It was published as A. havilandi to honour the collector Rev. E.Haviland as well as his son, therefore requiring a change of termination, as discussed by N.Hall & L.A.S.Johnson, The Names of Acacias of New South Wales 43 (1993).

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