Plants of
South Australia
Acacia wattsiana
Leguminosae
Watt's Wattle
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

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. Wattsiana probably commemorates Alfred Watts, one of the two members of the South Australia Legislative Council elected in 1855.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia with a rather restricted distribution in the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing in woodland to open forest or tussock grassland vegetation. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Dense, bushy rounded, spreading, glabrous shrubs to 2 m high, with thin, greyish-brown bark. Leaves narrow-obovate, oblanceolate to 6 cm long and 10 mm wide; straight or slightly curved, glabrous, light-green; mid-vein slightly excentric, lateral veins numerous obscure and reticulate; margins prominent and yellowish; glands small, situated on the upper margin below the centre of the leaf. Inflorescences axillary racemes with globular, yellow flower-heads. Flowering between October and December. Fruits are brown, linear pod to 12 cm long and 7 mm wide, flat but raised over seeds, narrowed at both ends, margins thickened and vein-like, slightly contracted between seeds. Seeds are hard, black semi-flat, ovoid seed to 4 mm long and 2.5 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%. 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:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
6,650 (72.3 g)
6,650 (72.3 g)
35+30-Dec-2005KHB31
Flinders Ranges
1-Aug-200695%-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.