Plants of
South Australia
Acacia ligulata
Dune Wattle,
Umbrella Bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 13

Common names

Dune Wattle

Umbrella Bush


Acacia from the Greek 'akakia' and derived from 'ake' or 'akis' meaning a sharp point or thorn and 'akazo' meaning to sharpen. Dioscorides, the Greek physician and botanist used the word in the 1st century AD for the Egyptian thorn tree, Acacia arabica. Ligulata from the Latin 'ligula' meaning a little tongue.

Distribution and status

Widespread and scattered across South Australia except for the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South-east, where they have been introduced. Also found in all other mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Bushy, spreading, more or less rounded, compact shrubs to 5 m high. Branches slightly angular or ribbed, light green, smooth. Leaves linear or linear-oblong to 9 cm long and 10 mm across, flat, rather thick; wrinkled when dry, with yellowish vein-like margins. One gland at the apex below the point and one on the upper margin below the centre towards the base. Inflorescences axillary and solitary or mostly in racemes with globular, bright yellow flower-heads. Flowering betwen August and November. Fruits are hard, woody, light brown, linear pod to 10 cm long and 10 mm wide with a thick margin, more or less constricted between seeds, readily breaking into 1-seeded segments. Seeds are hard, black, semi-flat ellipsoid seed to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide with a scarlet aril. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and January. Collect mature pods that are turning brown, with hard, dark seeds inside. Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for 1-2 weeks or until the pods begin to split. Then rub the dried pods to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 90%. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
7,700 (243 g)
6,570 (207 g)
Flinders Ranges
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.