Plants of
South Australia
Acacia fuscaneura
Sooty Mulga
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
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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. Fuscaneura from the Latin 'fuscus' meaning brown or dark, referring to the characteristically dark brown to black indumentum on new shoots and 'aneura' from the Greek 'a' meaning not or without and 'neuron' meaning a nerve, referring to the obscure veins on the phyllodes.

Distribution and status

Scattered across the interior of South Australia. Found on deep loamy soils, often in situations where it has run-off water from adjacent hills. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tree to 14 m tall. Branchlets when young, densely pubescent, with hairs obscuring ribs. Leaves straight and flat to 8 cm long and 13mm wide, densely covered in hairs when young. Inflorescences axillary, solitary with long cylindrical yellow flower-heads. Distinguished from Acacia aneura var. aneura by their wide phyllodes and winged pods. Flowering between November and December. Fruits are dark brown oblong pods to 5 cm long and 17 mm wide with wings to 2 mm wide or wider, densely pubescent when young, becoming glabrous. Seeds are hard, dark brown, elliptical to ovoid seed to 6 mm long and 4 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 80%. 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
5,000 (87.4 g)
5,000 (87.4 g)
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.