Acacia peuce F.Muell.
Acacia peuce F.Muell.
Waddy, Waddi, Waddy-wood, Birdsville Wattle, Casuarina Wattle; aboriginal usages include Aratara (Arunda tribe), Kurriyapiri and Red Ochre Father (Pitta Pitta tribe), Kungariya (Midhaga tribe, now extinct), and Arripar (Lower Arrernte group)
Known only from a few localities on the SW, SE and NE margins of the Simpson Desert. It occurs as several small disjunct populations, namely, about 60 km N of Andado Stn, N.T., and in Qld from 10 km and 60 km N of Birdsville and about 400 km further N, from Marion Downs Stn to near Boulia.
Glabrous tree to c. 15 m high, usually with short horizontal branches and pendulous branchlets and phyllodes; habit often conifer-like or sheoak-like. Wood extremely hard. Phyllodes sometimes continuous with branchlet but normally indistinctly articulate, rigid on young plants, quadrangular with a yellowish nerve at apex of each angle, 8–12 cm long, sometimes to 40 cm, c. 1 mm wide, subulate (the slender, sharp points often broken off), smooth; pulvinus obscure. Inflorescences simple, seemingly 1 per axil; peduncles 12–15 mm long; heads globular, sparse. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united near base. Pods oblong to narrowly oblong, to 20 cm long, 3–5 cm wide, firmly chartaceous, transversely reticulate, pruinose. Seeds transverse, elliptic to almost circular, flat, 6–14 mm long, 4–8.5 mm wide, dull, dark brown-black, exarillate; funicle filiform, 7–10 mm long.
The southern populations occur on fixed shallow sand aprons over clay and gibber slopes associated with denuded mesas. In the Boulia area it is associated with alluvium and paleochannels of the Hamilton and Georgina Rivers.
N.T.: North Bore area, J.R.Maconochie 481 (K, PERTH). Qld: c. 15 km S of Boulia, 7 July 1979, J.H.Willis s.n. (PERTH).
A most distinctive species on account of its habit and its large, flat, chartaceous pods with large, flat, non-arillate seeds. Biochemically A. peuce is related to A. crombiei and A. carneorum (see A. crombiei for note). While its carpological characters are very similar to those of A. crombiei, it differs in having narrowly linear, flat phyllodes. Although A. carneorum has similar, albeit shorter phyllodes to those of A. peuce, it has very different pods and seeds.
A detailed discussion of the earliest records of the species, including the type collection, is given in R.Grandison, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 2: 221–227 (1980). Features strongly in Aboriginal mythology, and the hard, heavy wood is used for the production of clubs, fide P.Latz, Bushfires & Bushtucker 113 (1995). Regarded as a vulnerable species by D.E.Boyland, in G.Lucas & H.Synge, IUCN Plant Red Data Book, 257 (1978).
Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 11A (2001), 11B (2001) and 12 (1998), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia
Minor edits by J.Rogers
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