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Acacia estrophiolata

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Acacia estrophiolata F.Muell., S. Sci. Rec. 2 (7): 150 (1882)

Southern Ironwood

Graceful, glabrous tree 4–16 m high. Branchlets pendulous (mature plants). Phyllodes linear to very narrowly elliptic, straight to slightly curved, often slightly kinked at the gland, 4–11 cm long, 2–5 mm wide, l:w = 16–40, acute to short-acuminate, thinly coriaceous, pale green, glabrous, with 3 or 4 main nerves and sometimes sparsely anastomosing minor nerves inbetween; gland 4–10 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences simple or rudimentary 1- or 2-headed racemes with axes to 1 mm long, 1 or 2 per axil; peduncles 5–12 mm long; basal bract persistent; heads globular, 4–5 mm diam., densely 30–35-flowered, creamy to pale yellow. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods flat, breaking readily at constrictions between seeds, to 10 cm long, 5–7 mm wide, firmly chartaceous, reticulate, narrowly winged. Seeds longitudinal, oblong-elliptic, c. 5.5 mm long, dull, brown, exarillate.

Common in southern N.T., extending into W.A. near Giles (with an outlier on Granite Peak Stn, c. 300 km NE of Meekatharra), to north-western S.A. near L. Eyre. Erroneously recorded for Qld by B.R.Maslin & L.Pedley, W. Austral. Herb. Res. Notes 6: 44 (1982), based on a misidentification of a W.J.Gasteen collection of A. oswaldii (see L.Pedley, Austrobaileya 1: 343, 1981). Grows commonly on sandy alluvial flats as scattered trees, but also in tall open shrubland and open woodland.

There are obvious morphological differences between young and mature plants of this species. The young plants have rigid branchlets and short, straight, patent to erect phyllodes which are normally in nodose clusters; on mature plants the ultimate branchlets are lax and pendulous and the phyllodes are longer and not clustered.

Closely related to A. excelsa but differing (perhaps arbitrarily) in phyllode proportions. Because of its narrow, 3-nerved phyllodes A. excelsa subsp. angusta is especially similar to A. estrophiolata , however, besides being geographically separated, the subspecies appears to lack the slightly kinked phyllodes that often occur on A. estrophiolata . Perhaps distantly related to A. dolichophylla which has much longer phyllodes with prominently raised nerves, for more details see B.R.Maslin, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard . 2: 308 (1980).

Bark from branches, root bark and gum used traditionally by N.T. aborigines for various skin disorders, upper respiratory tract infections and gastro-intestinal discomfort, fide Aboriginal Communities of the Northern Territory (1993), Traditional Aboriginal Medicines N. Territory Austral. 12–13 (Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory of Australia, Darwin).

Type of accepted name

Finke R., N.T., H.Kempe ; holo: MEL; iso: NSW, PERTH.

Synonymy

Racosperma estrophiolatum (F.Muell.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2: 348 (1987). Type: as for accepted name.

Illustrations

K.Askew & A.S.Mitchell, Fodder Trees & Shrubs N. Terr. 17 (1978); B.R.Maslin, in J.P.Jessop (ed.), Fl. Central Australia 123, fig. 160E (1980); D.J.E.Whibley & D.E.Symon, Acacias S. Australia 2nd edn, 187 (1992).

Representative collections

W.A.: 5 km SE of Giles Meteorological Stn, A.S.George 12114 (PERTH); 3 km NW of Granite Peak homestead, July 1999, R.&B.McLennan  s.n. (PERTH). N.T.: 1.6 km E of Alice Springs, R.A.Perry 3229 (K, NSW, PERTH). S.A.: 48 km NW of Kenmore Park Stn near Ernabella, D.E.Symon 2702 (K, PERTH).

(RSC & BRM)

WATTLE Acacias of Australia CD-ROM graphic

The information presented here originally appeared on the WATTLE CD-ROM which was jointly published by the Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, and the Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth; it was produced by CSIRO Publishing from where it is available for purchase. The WATTLE custodians are thanked for allowing us to post this information here.

Page last updated: Wednesday 29 May 2013