Plants of
South Australia
Acacia microcarpa
Manna Wattle
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 8

Common names

Manna Wattle


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. Microcarpa from the Greek 'micros' meaning small and 'carpos' meaning fruit, referring to the relatively narrow pods of the species.

Distribution and status

Found on Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Mount Lofty Ranges, Murray and the South-east in South Australia, growing in a wide variety of vegetation and soil types. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small, rounded bushy shrubs 3 m high, with spreading branches and stems ascending from the base; branches glabrous; bark reddish-brown or dark grey on mature stems. Leaves linear-oblong or linear- lanceolate to 50 mm long and 10 mm wide; straight or curved, slightly pubescent when young, soon glabrous. Inflorescences axillary in pairs or in clusters of 3 or 4 with globular, bright yellow flower-heads. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are dark brown curved linear pod to 60 mm long and 5 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. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).