Plants of
South Australia
Acacia menzelii
Leguminosae
Tallebung Wattle
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

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. Menzelii named in honour of O. E. Menzel, a botanical collector, who first collected this species in flower in 1897, at Monarto, South Australia.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found in a small area in the Murray region near Monarto and in the Flinders Ranges. Occurs in open scrub, often associated with Eucalyptus socialis and E. incrassata, on grey-brown calcareous loamy soils. Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Murray
NRM regions: Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect, compact, rounded spreading shrubs to 2 m high, branching near ground level into a number of ascending stems. Leaves terete or subterete to 3.5 cm long and approximately 1 mm wide. Inflorescences simple and axillary, solitary or twin with globular, bright yellow flower-heads. Flowering from July to October. Fruits are brown linear pod to 14.5 cm long and 3 mm wide; curved or slightly twisted; biconvex, contracted and acute at both ends with yellowish vein-like margins constricted between seeds. Seeds are hard black ellipsoid seed to 5 mm along and 2 mm wide with a large fleshy, whitish aril. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November 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 six collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 70% to 100%. 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:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA651 (1.7 g)4317-Dec-2003PJA66
Southern Lofty
23-Mar-200670%-18°C
BGA1,289 (4.67 g)5217-Dec-2003PJA69
Southern Lofty
23-Mar-200675%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
5,500 (51.6 g)
5,500 (51.6 g)
250+15-Dec-2005PJA111
Murray
1-Aug-200685%+5°C, -18°C
BGA7,900 (63.33 g)8-Dec-2005CO4
Murray
1-Aug-200675%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
8,000 (61.07 g)
8,000 (61.07 g)
50+15-Dec-2005PJA112
Murray
1-Aug-2006100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA3,000 (13.16 g)100+8-Dec-2009KHB334
Flinders Ranges
1-Jun-201090%-18°C
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.
Germination table:
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