Plants of
South Australia
Acacia papyrocarpa
Western Myall
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
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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. Papyrocarpa from the Greek 'papyrus' meaning paper-like and 'karpos' meaning fruit.

Distribution and status

Found in arid and semi-arid parts of South Australia, in the North-Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula and Flinders Ranges regions, growing in low open woodland, tall open-low shrubland in association with Maireana, on sandy loams and calcareous soils. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tall shrubs or small trees to 7 m high, usually multi-stemmed and forming neat rounded, spreading, shady canopies which often appear silvery-green with new growth. Branchlets sometimes drooping, slightly angular, minutely pubescent but becoming terete and glabrous with age, with grey, rough, flaky and fissured bark. Leaves linear to 8 cm long and 3 mm wide, straight or slightly curved; compressed, appressed pubescent, silvery pubescent when young, with numerous fine parallel longitudinal veins; apex terminating in a fine delicately curved point, attenuate towards the base; glands basal. Flower-spike in axillary clusters of 2-6 globular, yellow flower-heads. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are brown, narrowly oblong pod to 10 cm long and 8 mm wide; flat, leathery, reticulate; scarcely constricted between seeds Seeds are hard, dark brown to black ovoid seed to 6 mm long and 4.5 mm wide. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and February. 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. 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

3,700 (55 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.