Plants of
South Australia
Acacia pinguifolia
Fat-leaved wattle
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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: 3.


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. Pinguifolia from the Latin 'pinguis' meaning fat and 'folium' meaning a leaf, referring to the round fat phyllodes of the species.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and restricted to southern Eyre Peninsula with a small occurrence in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges near Finniss, growing with Eucalyptus odorata, E. incrassata and Melaleuca uncinata in woodland or open scrub, in mainly sandy or hard alkaline yellow duplex soils. Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Densely spreading shrub to 2 m high and 3 m wide with long round fleshy leaves. Flowers are contained within a single globular yellow ball on a long stalk, appearing in winter and spring. Fruits are long curved pods, twisted to 7 cm long, when fully matured and dried. Seeds are semi-flat ovoid dark brown to black seeds to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature pods when turning brown, with dark brown hard seeds. The pods may still be closed. Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for 1-2 weeks. Then rub the pods with a rubber bung or by hand to dislodge the seeds from the pods. Use a sieve to separate the 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 seven collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 80% 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:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
13,100 (131.5 g)
13,100 (131.5 g)
Eyre Peninsula
BGA7,200 (72.28 g)516-Nov-2005PJA117
Southern Lofty
BGA390 (3.85 g)16-Dec-2005PJA116
Southern Lofty
BGA970 (9.4 g)1222-Dec-2006Brimarvi Road
Southern Lofty
BGA2,020 (19.68 g)68-Dec-2006CSO8
Southern Lofty
BGA1,730 (16.31 g)58-Dec-2006CSO7
Southern Lofty
BGA240 (2.94 g)38-Dec-2006CSO6
Southern Lofty
BGA6,800 (58.23 g)1212-Dec-2008DJD1452
Eyre Peninsula
BGA1,900 (20.6 g)7-Sep-2005D131204SL
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.
Germination table: