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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Acacia coriacea


Citation: A. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 2:451 (1825).

Derivation: coriaceus (L.)—leathery, thick leaved.

Synonymy: A. sericophylla F. Muell., J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Bot. 3:122 (1859); Racosperma coriaceum (DC.)Pedley, Bot. J. Linn. Soc.(London) 92:248 (1986).

Common name: wirewood, desert oak

Tall shrubs or small trees to 7 m high; branchlets slightly angular hoary, smooth, reddish-brown; bark thick, corky, grey, deeply furrowed.

Phyllodes linear, 12-35 cm long, 1-6 mm broad, straight or curved, coriaceous, flat or almost terete, covered with fine silvery hairs with numerous fine obscure close parallel longitudinal veins; glands small, usually 2-10 mm from the base.

Inflorescences axillary in short, finely pubescent racemes, consisting of 2-5 heads; flower-heads globular, mid-yellow, 30-40-flowered; peduncles pubescent, 8-15 mm long; flowers 5-merous (sepals united).

Legumes moniliform, 15-23 cm long, 8-10 mm broad, coriaceous, fibrous, curved and twisted, lightly striate, covered with fine whitish hairs. seeds longitudinal in legume; funicle short, sometimes slightly twisted or folded, thickening into a large fleshy yellow aril.

Distribution:  Only a small local occurrence in the North-Western region on alluvial deposits near the foot of Mount Lindsay and Mount Moulden associated with Eucalyptus terminalis. Soils; red earthy sands. Rainfall approx. 200 mm. Also W.Aust., N.T. and Qld.

Flowering time: Irregular periods throughout the year, usually after good rains.

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

Biology: No text

Related taxa: Acacia stenophylla (sp. 93) but is distinguished by its prominent rather widely spaced veins, its straight or curved legumes with a small white aril. Acacia calcicola (sp. 89)--refer to this species for distinguishing features.

Taxonomic notes: Revisional work on A. coriacea is at present being done. It is possible that the following subspecies may be recognised. If this is followed the material in South Australia may become A. coriacea subsp, sericophylla.

(1) Subspecies coriacea which is confined to north-western Western Australia with a small population in the Northern Territory.

(2) Subspecies pendens which is confined to north-western Western Australia.

(3) Subspecies sericophylla which is the most widespread and occurs across northern Australia and reaches its southern limits in northern South Australia.

The seeds of A. coriacea are reported by Isaacs (1987) to be used in both green and dried state by the Aborigines.

Cane (1989) reported that A. coriacea is of 'major' importance to Aborigines of the Western Desert as a source of seeds. It would be used elsewhere. It is one of the species whose seeds were eaten without grinding but were simply roasted in hot ashes and eaten directly.

Cultivation: Useful in inland areas as an ornamental or small shade tree. Also eaten by stock. Moderate growth rate.

Author: Not yet available


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