Plants of
South Australia
Acacia calamifolia
Reed-leaf wattle (Wallowa)
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.


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. Calamifolia from the Latin 'calamus' meaning a reed and 'folium' meaning leaf, referring to the species' reed-like leaves.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia in the Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Flinders Ranges, Northern and Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South-Eastern, Murray and Eastern regions, mainly associated with woodland and open scrub. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tall, erect, glabrous, rounded, bushy shrubs to 4 m high. Branchlets slender, ascending, reddish with smooth bark, grey on older stems. Leaves linear to 12 cm long and 5 mm wide, mainly terete-compressed but sometimes flat, straight or slightly curved, with 1 obscurely vein on each face. Small glands situated on upper margin 5-10 mm from the base of the leaves. Inflorescences axillary, solitary or 2-4 globular, yellow flower-heads. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are brown linear, straight or curved pods to 15 cm long and 6 mm wide, raised and wrinkled over the seeds. Margins straight-edged or slightly constricted. Seeds are hard black, obvoid to 6 mm long and 2.5 mm wide. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November 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. Seed viability is usually high. 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
BGA3,500 (126.56 g)1222-Nov-2005DJD215
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.