Acacias of Australia

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Vachellia sutherlandii Kodela

Common Name

Cork Tree, Corkwood Wattle, Weeping Mimosa




Occurs in Gulf of Carpentaria country from Kilgour R. area S to Rockhampton Downs and Alroy Downs Stns, N of Barkly Hwy, N.T., and near Burketown S to Aramac-Longreach area, Qld.


Shrub or tree 3–15 m high, with slender trunk and pendulous branches. Bark ±corky, deeply furrowed. Branchlets glabrous. Stipular spines 1–6 (–8) mm long. Leaves: petiole 0.8–3 cm long, glabrous or sparsely puberulous, mostly with small, raised gland at base of lowest pair of pinnae; rachis 5–23 cm long, glabrous or sparsely puberulous, with small gland at apex, sometimes other jugary glands present towards both ends; pinnae (6–) 12–29 (–33) pairs, 1.6–6.5 (–8.2) cm long, often ±alternately arranged towards centre of rachis; pinnules ±herbaceous, 9–31 pairs, mostly well-spaced, narrowly oblong to cultrate or sometimes narrowly oblanceolate or elliptic, 1.5–5 (–7) mm long, 0.5–1.5 (–1.7) mm wide, ±glabrous or ciliolate, sometimes especially towards apex. Inflorescences simple, solitary; peduncles 1.5–18 mm long, with involucel of bracts near apex; spikes 2–7 cm long, c. 20–50-flowered, pale cream-coloured; flowers usually separated or in clusters. Pods straight-sided or irregularly constricted between seeds, flat except slightly raised over seeds, 3.5–25 cm long, 10–23 mm wide, coriaceous, with ±anastomosing longitudinal nerves, speckled with pale lenticels, glabrous; margins often very narrowly winged.


Flowers recorded Feb., May., June; fruits June.–Oct.


Often forming groves in grassland or open woodland on plains, in black or grey, often cracking, clay soils or loamy soils; also on dunes near saline tidal flats.


N.T.: Rockhampton Downs HS, 2 Oct. 1957, G.Chippendale (CANB, DNA, NSW). Qld: Winton-Longreach, 6 June 1978, G.W.Althofer (BRI, CANB, NSW); 38.5 miles [61.95 km] S of Prairie, to Muttaburra, P.Hind 1069 & C.K.Ingram (BRI, CANB, K, L, MEL, NSW, PERTH, US); 0.8 miles [1.3 km] E of Corinda Stn, R.A.Perry 1370 (CANB, DNA, K); Levuka, Oorindi, 23 May 1967, J.T.Waterhouse (NSW).


Based on molecular and other data Acacia sens. lat. is now considered as comprising a number of segregate genera, see J.T.Miller & D.S.Seigler, Austral. Syst. Bot. 25: 217-224 (2012) for overview. Many taxa in the former Acacia subg. Acacia are now referable to the genus Vachellia, including the one presented here.

Vachellia sutherlandii is the only Australian species of the former subg. Acacia with spicate inflorescences.

FOA Reference

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


P.G.Kodela, M.D.Tindale