Plants of
South Australia
Acacia spinescens
Leguminosae
Spiny Wattle
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 20.

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. Spinescens from the Latin 'spina' meaning thorn, spine and '-escens' meaning beginning, referring to the branches ending in a spine or sharp point.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia growing in a variety of soil types and vegetation associations. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Much-branched, erect shrub to 1 m high with branchlets rigid, terete, spiny, green with prominent yellow rib striations. Leaves usually absent, very rarely a few persistent at base of main stems. Linear to oblong, to 50 mm long and 3 mm wide, thick with tip curved or hooked, midvein prominent. Flower-spike solitary with stalkless bright yellow, globular flower-heads. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are dark brown, linear, glabrous pod to 30 mm long and 3.5 mm wide, curved and becoming twisted. Seeds are hard, dark brown, ovoid to 3.5 mm long and 2.5 mm wide. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October 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. Seed viability is usually high. 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
BGA290 (1.706 g)105-Jan-2006Cox Scrub
Southern Lofty
9-Aug-2006N/C-18°C
 
MSB

4,900 (30.19 g)
50+29-Nov-2006TST109
Yorke Peninsula
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.