Acacias of Australia

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Acacia purpureopetala F.M.Bailey

Common Name

Purple Wattle




A rare species confined to the Herberton region, Qld.


Sprawling ±prostrate shrub to 0.5 m high; new growth purplish. Branchlets puberulous to pubescent. Stipules 2–3 mm long, normally recurved. Phyllodes slightly asymmetric, narrowly oblong-elliptic, sometimes oblanceolate, 15–35 mm long, 4–6 mm wide, l:w = 4–7, excentrically mucronate, with 0.5–2 mm long mucro, coriaceous, finely puberulous with hairs often confined to margins when old; midrib and margins prominent; lateral nerves scarcely evident; gland 1–6 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences simple, 1 per axil; peduncles 7–15 mm long, puberulous, ebracteate at base, sometimes with a single bract above middle; heads globular, 15–20-flowered, mauve-pink. Flowers 5-merous; sepals ±free. Pods narrowly oblong to elliptic, to 30 mm long, 4–7 mm wide, normally 1–3-seeded, thinly coriaceous-crustaceous, brown, glabrous or subglabrous. Seeds longitudinal, circular to widely elliptic, compressed, 4–5 mm long, exarillate; funicle filiform.


Flowers sporadically, though not prolifically, throughout most of the year but main flush in June–July.


Grows on steep rocky slopes in Eucalyptus woodland; often colonises disused mine sites.


Qld: near Irvinebank, J.Armstrong 1024 & D.F.Blaxell (BRI, CANB, NSW); Stannary Hills, P.Hind 1047 & C.K.Ingram (NSW, PERTH).


Seemingly related to A. hispidula which has pale yellow to nearly white heads, 3/4-united sepals and phyllodes that are obviously tuberculate, at least on their abaxial margins.

Unique among the Australian acacias in having consistently mauve-pink flowers.

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