Acacias of Australia

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Acacia subternata F.Muell.




Occurs in the northern N.T., mostly W of Borroloola between 16ºS and 16º30'S and between 134º30'E and 136º30'E, and at Victoria R.


Shrub to 1.2 m high, erect to semiprostrate, domed, resinous, branching from base. Bark ±smooth or slightly fissured, grey-brown. Branchlets markedly angular, light brown or brown; ridges very prominent. Phyllodes in clusters of 2–6, linear, straight or curved, semiterete to flat, 4–15 mm long, 0.4–0.8 (–1) mm wide, thinly coriaceous, glabrous, furrowed; nerves inconspicuous, longitudinal; gland absent or inconspicuous. Heads 5–9 mm diam., 36–44-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; calyx 1–1.5 mm long, dissected to 1/2–2/3, glabrous; corolla 1.7–2.5 mm long, dissected for 1/3–1/2, with petals striated; ovary glabrous, usually minutely tuberculate, with bulbous yellow cap on summit. Pods narrowly oblanceolate to linear-oblanceolate, basally tapered, flat, straight-sided, 2.7–5.5 cm long, woody, obliquely to almost longitudinally nerved, glabrous, scurfy when old, opening elastically at apex; margins and seed-partitions thick. Seeds oblique, broadly oblong-elliptic, 3.2–4.7 mm long, dark brown; pleurogram with fawn halo; areole closed; funicle-aril narrowly conical.


Flowers Mar.–Sept.


Grows usually in red, skeletal, sandy loams on sandstone ridges or on quartzite, in eucalypt woodland, often associated with spinifex.


N.T.: McArthur R. area, L.A.Craven 4127 (A, BRI, CANB, DNA, G, L, PERTH, RSA); 46 miles [c. 74 km] N of Cape Crawford on Borroloola road, B.Maloney 8/75 (CANB, K, NSW); just N of Caranbirini Waterhole Rd to Borroloola, B.Rice 2141 (CANB, NSW).


Related to A. delicatula. Also similar to Acacia manipularis which differs in its less angular branchlets and longer phyllodes.

FOA Reference

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 11A (2001), 11B (2001) and 12 (1998), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia


Dr M.D.Tindale and Dr P.G.Kodela with the assistance of M.Bedward, S.J.Davies, C.Herscovitch, D.A.Keith and/or D.A.Morrison

Minor edits by B.R.Maslin & J.Rogers