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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Acacia murrayana


Citation: G. Bentham, Fl. Aust. 2:370 (1864)

Derivation: murrayana—in honour of Dr. James Patrick Murray, surgeon and plant collector to the Howitt Expedition in search of Burke and Wills, 1861-1862.

Synonymy: A. frumentacea Tate, Rep. Horn Exped. Pt. 3:156,187(1896).A. leptopetala non Benth, sensu J. M. Black, Fl.S.Aust. Pt. 2:412 (1948). Racosperma murrayanum (F. Muell. ex Benth.)Pedley, Austrobaileya 2:352 (1987).

Common name: Murray's wattle

Erect, bushy shrubs or small trees 2-5 m high, crown spreading, usually dividing into a few main stems near ground level; branchlets slightly angular becoming terete, greenish-yellow to reddish-brown, often pruinose. In the North-Western region often found forming small suckering colonies.

Phyllodes variable, linear-oblong to linear-lanceolate, 6-18 cm long, 2-7 mm broad, straight, curved or falcate, flat, coriaceous, pale-green to glaucous, mid-vein prominent, margins yellowish vein-like, lateral veins rather obscure; apex obtuse but with a small recurved point, a small gland below the point, a second rather obscure gland at the base of phyllode just above the short wrinkled pulvinus.

Inflorescences in axillary glabrous racemes shorter than phyllodes usually consisting of 3-7 heads; flower-heads globular, bright yellow, 35-45-flowered; peduncles glabrous, slender, 4-8 mm long; flowers 5-merous (sepals free).

Legumes narrowly oblong, 5-7 cm long, 8-10 mm broad, flat but raised over the seeds showing their outline, chartaceous, light brown; margins straight or slightly constricted. Seeds transverse in legume almost orbicular, black; funicle short with 1-3 folds not thickened into an aril.

Distribution:  Scattered throughout the North-Western and Lake Eyre regions. One disjunct locality in the Eastern region is 10 km east-north-east of Yunta in creek, G. Gardner 5. viii. 1962. In hummock grassland to low woodland and tall shrubland usually in red or yellow deep sands on or between sandridges or along sandy creek banks and floodout areas, associated with Acacia aneura, Triodia basedowii and Zygochloa paradoxa. Soils; crusty alkaline and neutral red duplex, neutral red earths and red siliceous sands. Rainfall 125-200 mm. Also W.Aust., N.T., Qld and N.S.W.

S.Aust.: NW, LE, GT, EA, EP.

Flowering time: August — October.

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

Biology: No text

Related taxa: Acacia pachyacra (sp. 40) has some affinities but differs in its quadrangular phyllodes, its apex gland bearing below the small recurved thickened mucro. The broader phyllode form of A. murrayana has some affinity with A. jennerae (sp. 57) a N.T. and W.Aust. species which differs mainly in the lanceolate phyllodes which possess 1-3 glands in the upper margins. A. leptopetala is an endemic W.Aust. species (personal communication, B. R. Maslin, Perth).

Taxonomic notes: Leaf and shoot growth of A. murrayana was studied by Maconochie (1973). It showed a distinctly seasonal pattern of new growth with the peak gain during the period of increasing daily temperature. Highest losses also occurred then. Flowering in the spring preceded new growth.

A single collection of Amyema preissii, wiry mistletoe is the only mistletoe so far recorded on Acacia murrayana.

A. murrayana seed after being ground up, is reported by Isaacs (1987) to be a source of food eaten by the Aborigines.

Cultivation: An attractive large shrubby plant or small tree which flowers profusely and has a fast growth rate. It prefers a well drained sandy soil.

Author: Not yet available


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