Acacias of Australia

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Acacia latescens Benth.

Common Name

Ball Wattle




Occurs in northern N.T., extending S to Cox R.


Shrub or tree 3–10 m high. Bark rough, brown or dark grey. Branchlets glabrous. Phyllodes narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong-elliptic or ±linear, sometimes tending oblanceolate, commonly falcately recurved, 8–26 cm long, (0.4–) 0.5–1.5 (–2) cm wide, narrowed at base, obtuse or acute, glabrous, with 2 distant main longitudinal nerves and openly reticulate between them; glands 3 or 4, with one basal and secondary ones often projecting slightly from margin; pulvinus 2–4 mm long. Inflorescences 4–11-headed racemes; raceme axes (2–) 10–30 mm long, glabrous; peduncles 5–17 (–20) mm long, glabrous; heads globular, 4–6 mm diam., 30–55-flowered, cream to pale yellow; bracteoles peltate. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 2/3–3/4-united; petals ±glabrous. Pods mostly narrowly oblong and flat, to 15 cm long, 11–20 mm wide, coriaceous, finely and openly reticulate, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal to oblique, oblong, 8–10 mm long, dull, black; aril apical, small.


Grows in sandy and lateritic soil in open forest, woodland and shrubland, rarely in coastal dune scrub.


N.T.: East Alligator R., M.Lazarides 7651 (NSW, PERTH); c. 5 km N of Nathan R. Stn, G.J.Leach 604 (PERTH); Cobourg Peninsula, D.Sivertsen 811 (PERTH).


Most nearly related to A. mimula and A. kenneallyi.

As is the case with several other of the northern, tropical species, the filaments of A. latescens are joined irregularly to a level of about the base of the lobes of the corolla.

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 & J.Rogers