Acacias of Australia

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Acacia riceana Hensl.

Common Name

Rice’s Wattle




Occurring principally in southern Tas.


Prostrate shrub or small tree to 10 m high. Branchlets often pendulous, angular. Phyllodes often fascicled, linear or narrowly lanceolate, hardly acicular, flat, 1.5–5 cm long, 1–3 mm wide, pungent, with 3 nerves (one sometimes more prominent); anastomosing nerves absent; gland usually basal; pulvinus absent or almost so. Inflorescences with peduncles 5–12 (–20) mm long; spikes interrupted, 1.5–3.5 cm long; bracteoles almost sessile, narrowly triangular, 0.7–1 mm long, 0.5–0.7 mm wide. Flowers few, scattered, (3- or) 4-merous; sepals united. Pods linear, constricted between seeds, 6–6.5 cm long, 3–4 mm wide, thin. Seeds elliptic, 4.5–6 mm long, shiny; funicle short, folded several times into a small aril.


Flowers July–Jan. and fruits Jan.–Feb.


It is occasionally locally abundant on hillsides in moist forests and often riparian.


Tas.: Degraves, Hobart, R.C.Gunn 1063/1842 (NSW); Barbers Marsh 4 km S of Quoin Mt, A.M.Gray 400 (CANB, HO, MEL); Arve R. Rd 6.5 km from junction with Main Hwy at Geeveston, A.M.Gray 301 (AD, CANB, HO).


Distinguished from A. verticillata by its much longer phyllodes and spikes of loosely packed flowers.

The differences between A. axillaris and A. riceana are not pronounced but these taxa are here retained as distinct species. In A. axillaris the peduncles are short (normally < 3 mm long), or sometimes almost absent, and the flowers are in globose clusters or very short spikes (< 6 mm long) while the peduncles of A. riceana are much longer (5–12 mm long) and the spikes 1.5–3.5 mm long. The habit of the two species appears to differ significantly. Acacia axillaris is more or less erect but A. riceana has mostly pendulous branches.

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