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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Acacia cambagei


Citation: R. T. Baker, Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 25:661 t.42(1900).

Derivation: cambagei—in honour of Richard Hind Cambage (1859-1928), Chief Mining Surveyor and a botanist in N.S.W.

Synonymy: Racosperma cambagei (R. Baker)Pedley, Austrobaileya 2:346 (1987).

Common name: gidgee or gidgea, stinking wattle

Small or medium sized, spreading trees 5-8m high, often dividing into a few main stems at ground level or with a single trunk and a bushy canopy; branchlets angular and whitish scurfy but becoming almost terete and a light grey-brown with age; bark pale grey to dark grey, rough, flaky and fissured.

Phyllodes linear-lanceolate, 4-14 cm long, 3-15 mm broad, straight or falcate, coriaceous, dull green to pale grey and often scurfy, flaking off with age, numerous fine parallel veins seen only under a lens, often 1-3 veins more prominent than the rest, apex obtuse or acute with a small curved point; glands basal, inconspicuous.

Inflorescences in axillary racemes, much shorter than phyllodes, raceme axis finely pubescent with 4-10 heads, apex sometimes growing into leafy shoots; flower-heads globular pale to mid. yellow 15-25-flowered; peduncles hoary, c. 5 mm long; flowers 5-merous. Legumes narrowly oblong, 7-12 cm long, 8-12 mm broad, straight or curved, flat, chartaceous, transversely veined, margins thickened, slightly constricted between seeds. Seeds longitudinal in legume, obloid; funicle filiform, short, not thickened into an aril.

Distribution:  In low open woodland in the Lake Eyre region, found as scattered trees or in small dense stands along the edges of watercourses, drainage channels and along the edges of open rocky plains. The species is often associated with Eucalyptus microtheca. Soils; grey cracking self-mulching clay, crusty alkaline and neutral red duplex and brown calcareous earths. Rainfall approx. 150 mm. Also N.T., Qld and N.S.W.

S.Aust.: LE.

Flowering time: May — September.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Related taxa: Acacia georginae F. M Bailey is very similar and also has an offensive odour, but differs in habit and the broad twisted and coiled legumes; occurs in N.T. and Qld.

Taxonomic notes: A. cambagei has a dark, close grained, heavy timber with fibres interlocked and cross grained. It can be useful for turning but the limited size and supply preclude any large scale use of this tree. The timber makes good fuel.

Only two mistletoes have been recorded on A. cambagei in South Australia. Amyema quandang, grey mistletoe is the more common, with a few records of the widely spread Amyema preissii, wire-leaved mistletoe.

"Gidya trees might be all right to look at, old man, though to smell them on a damp morning would spoil anyones breakfast; but gidya, after a camel has eaten it, and the beast breathed on you---oh Hell" Mountford (1948).

Hall (1975) deals with A. cambagei as No. 1 in a limited series on Australian Acacias. The geographical distribution, ecology, botanical features and utilisation are covered but no special bibliography is provided.

Cultivation: Not suitable for planting in parks or neat houses due to the offensive odour given off. Gidgee is a hardy drought-resistant long-lived tree, suitable for planting inland as a shade tree. Moderate growth rate.

Author: Not yet available


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