Acacias of Australia

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Acacia leptoclada A.Cunn. ex Benth.

Common Name

Sharp Feather Wattle




Occurs in N.S.W. on the western side of the Northern Tablelands from Tingha S to Guyra, the North Western Slopes, and rarely North Western Plains, from Yetman area S to Barraba.


Spreading shrub 1–3 m high; branches pendulous. Bark smooth, grey, brown or greenish brown. Branchlets ±terete, inconspicuously ridged, blue-black, sparsely to densely pilose with white or fawn hairs, or sometimes glabrous, usually ±pruinose. Young foliage-tips cream-coloured or pale ferruginous. Leaves herbaceous, dark green, rarely over 2.5 cm long, subsessile with basal pinnae arising immediately or to 0.5 mm above pulvinus, mostly with a minute orbicular gland at insertion of basal pair of pinnae; rachis (0.1–) 0.4–1.2 cm long, usually with 1 or 2 (twinned) minute glands at base of uppermost and occasionally other pairs of pinnae; interjugary glands absent; pinnae 1–5 pairs, 0.3–1.2 cm long; pinnules 5–13 pairs, oblong to narrowly oblong, 1.5–3 (–4) mm long, 0.4–1 mm wide, glabrous or with fine hairs on margins and beneath, broadly rounded or acute and slightly wider at apex. Inflorescences mostly in axillary racemes, sometimes in terminal false-panicles or single; axes to 4 times longer than leaves, 1–6 cm long, very flexuose; peduncles 3–10 (–18) mm long, glabrous or finely hairy. Heads 7–12 mm diam., 30–45-flowered, golden or dark yellow. Pods straight-sided or very slightly indented between seeds, 1.5–9.5 cm long, 5–9 mm wide, thinly or thickly coriaceous, black or brown, densely pilose to glabrous.


Flowers Aug.–Oct.; fruits Nov.–Jan.


Grows in scrubland, Eucalyptus -Callitris woodland and open forest, in stony places at high elevations, in sandy soils over granite or porphyries.


N.S.W.: 12.4 km N of Tenterden along Moredun Dam road, R.G.Coveny 12397, W.Bishop & L.Murray (K, MEL, NSW, TL, US); 39.9 km S of Yetman en route to Warialda, R.G.Coveny 12713, P.Cuneo & B.Wiecek (AD, B, K, MEL, MO, NSW, PRC, PERTH, US); 2 km from Graman on Ashford road, C.J.Dunn 53, J.Plat & R.G.Coveny (E, MEL, NSW); Woods Reef, E of Barraba, A.N.Rodd 4067 (B, BRI, MEL, NSW).


A species that varies, especially in indumentum, from having variably hairy branchlets, rachis, pinnae, pinnules, flower-heads and pods to being glabrous. In hairy forms there are long hairs in the flower-heads (mainly towards calyx apices and on bracteole lamina) which are initially very conspicuous and pinkish purple when in bud (appearing to change colour with age and when dried to fawn- or yellowish-hyaline).

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.Reid & J.Rogers

M.D.Tindale, P.G.Kodela