Plants of
South Australia
Acacia verniciflua
Varnish Wattle
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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: 5

Prior names

Acacia leprosa third variant

Acacia leprosa var. binervis

Acacia verniciflua var. pendula

Acacia verniciflua first variant

Acacia gracilis

Acacia binervata

Acacia virgata, nom.nud.

Racosperma vernicifluum


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. Verniciflua probably from old English 'vernis' meaning varnish and Latin 'flua', flowing, referring to the resinous nature of the plant, especially when young.

Distribution and status

Found in a small area in southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing in valleys and on hillsides, associated with Eucalyptus obliqua and E. baxteri in open forest. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tall slender, viscid shrubs or small trees to 5 m high, with slender, slightly angular-striate, erect or spreading branches, becoming less resinous on mature stems. Leaves oblong to linear-lanceolate or narrow-elliptic, to 12 cm long and 15 mm wide; straight or slightly curved, viscid, glandular-dotted. One longitudinal vein near the centre is usually more prominent than the marginal vein. Glands small, one near the base with sometimes up to 3 additional glands scattered along the upper margin. Inflorescences axillary, mostly twin with globular, bright-yellow flower-heads. Flowering between July and September. Fruits are brown, linear pod to 10 cm long and 5 mm wide, straight or curved, biconvex, viscid and greenish when young, becoming less viscid and brown when mature; margins straight or slightly constricted between seeds. Seeds are hard, yellowish brown ellipsoid to oblong seed to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. 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
7,000 (94 g)
7,000 (94 g)
Southern Lofty
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.