Acacias of Australia

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Acacia setulifera Benth.




Occurs near the Carr Boyd Ra. (S of Kununurra) in the east Kimberley region of W.A., and in the Victoria River district, N.T.


Shrub or subshrub to 0.5 (–1) m high, rounded, often procumbent, bushy or sparse, glabrous, resinous. Branchlets apically angular but soon terete, with coarse (often minutely resin-crenulated) ridges, finely lenticellate. Phyllodes patent, ±elliptic or ovate (upper margin sometimes slightly more convex than lower margin), often slightly curved and undulate, 0.3–0.6 (–0.9) cm long, 1.5–3 (–4) mm wide, coriaceous, with a straight to very oblique bristle-like appendage at apex; very obscurely plurinerved, rarely midnerve slightly pronounced; gland minute, basal, to 1 mm above pulvinus. Peduncles mostly 5–11 mm long, 0.4–0.8 mm wide. Heads 5–8 mm diam., (12–) 15–26-flowered, bright yellow; bracteoles with very attenuated lamina apex, usually almost as long as the spreading buds. Flowers 5-merous; calyx cupular, 0.6–1.1 mm long, dissected to 1/5, reddish papillose towards apex; corolla 1.7–2 (–2.2) mm long, dissected for c. 1/2. Pods erect, narrowly oblanceolate, straight-sided, 2.5–5 cm long, 4–6 (–8) mm wide, obliquely nerved; margins slightly thickened. Seeds oblique, narrowly oblong-elliptic, 3–4.5 mm long, brown; funicle-aril narrowly conical.


Flowers recorded Feb., Mar., May., Aug.


Grows mainly on sandstone ridges or escarpments, in eucalypt or Terminalia woodland.


W.A.: c. 50 km SSW of Kununurra, A.S.Weston 900815-1 (MEL, NSW, PERTH); loc. id., A.S.Weston 900512-1 (PERTH). N.T.: Spirit Hills Conservation area, I.Cowie 7151 (DNA, NSW, PERTH); Victoria R. area, G.J.Leach 8204 & C.R.Dunlop (DNA, PERTH).


Acacia setulifera is most closely related to A. nuperrima, from which it differs by having smaller, more rounded phyllodes with a distinctly setose apical point. It is also characterised by long acuminate bracteoles prominent amongst the buds, persistent, ascending stipules and rather coarsely ribbed branchlets. There is a variant or possibly intergrades between these two species occurring in an area c. 40–43 km W of Timber Creek, N.T. The variant has a setose apical mucro on its phyllodes and acuminate bracteoles similar to A. setulifera, but with phyllodes to 1.2 cm long and slightly curved and sigmoid similar to, or approaching, A. nuperrima, e.g. I.B.Armitage 156 (NSW, PERTH), J.R.Maconochie 1125 (DNA, NSW, PERTH), B.Maloney 25/75 (DNA, NSW, PERTH). Also related to Acacia perpusilla, A. sp. Kununurra (G.Lullfitz 6195), A. stellaticeps and A. translucens in the ‘A. stigmatophylla group’.

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