Acacias of Australia

Print Fact Sheet

Acacia spinescens Benth.

Common Name

Spiny Wattle, Hard-leaf Wattle




Occurs from near Ceduna, S.A. to Mildura and the Northern Grampians, western Vic.


Much-branched erect shrub mostly 0.5–1 m high. Branchlets rigid, terete, striated by rather prominent yellow ribs, green, grey-green or subglaucous between ribs, glabrous, spinose. Phyllodes normally absent, very rarely a few persistent at base of main stems, linear, 1–5 cm long, 1–2 mm wide, thick, curved or hooked apically. Inflorescences simple; heads usually ±sessile, globular, 3–8-flowered, 5–7 mm diam., bright golden; bracteoles sessile, concave, c. 1 mm long and almost as wide, brown. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods moniliform, curved, becoming twisted, 2–3 cm long, 2–3 mm wide, dark brown, glabrous. Seeds longitudinal, oblong-elliptic; aril clavate.


Grows in a variety of vegetation and soil types.


S.A.: c. 12 km NE of Port Niell, Hj.Eichler 19143 (AD n.v., PERTH); c. midway between Pinnaroo & Renmark, N.Hall H80/42 (NSW, PERTH); c. 5 km W of Stenhouse Bay, J.R.Wheeler 76 (AD n.v., PERTH). Vic.: Mildura, c. 1942, F.Robbins (MEL); Miram South Dam Wildlife Res., A.C.Beauglehole 84141 (MEL n.v., PERTH).


This species is readily recognised by its rigid, striate, spinose branches which are normally devoid of phyllodes. Its flower-heads are normally sessile, but the peduncles occasionally reach 6 mm long, fide D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 44 (1992).

The inflorescence arrangement (which is an extremely reduced 1-headed raceme), peduncular bracts, bracteoles, united sepals and carpological features suggest this species is nearest the ‘A. pravifolia group’, despite its unusual vegetative characteristics.

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 J.Rogers