Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Acacia tetragonophylla

Citation: F. Mueller, Fragm. Phyt. Aust. 4:3 (1863).

Derivation: tetra (Gr.)—four; gonia (Gr.)—an angle; phyllum (Gr.)—leaf.

Synonymy: A. genistoides A. Cunn. ex Benth., Fl. Aust. 2:330 (1864). Racosperma tetragonophyllum (F. Muell.) Pedley, Austrobaileya 2:356 (1987). , Acacia genistioides

Common name: dead-finish, kurara

Tall, diffuse, straggly, prickly shrubs or small trees 2-5 m high, a short single trunk branching just above ground level or multi-stemmed; branches somewhat pubescent when young becoming glabrous with age; bark dark grey slightly fissured and rough at the base more or less smooth on upper branches.

Phyllodes linear, angular-subulate ending in a pungent point, 1-5 cm long c. 1 mm broad, rigid, clustered usually in groups of 2-5 or solitary on new shoots, glabrous or with a few scattered hairs when young, dull green, 1-2 prominent veins on each face.

Inflorescences simple and axillary, solitary or appearing as clusters of 2-5; flower-heads globular c. 50-flowered; peduncles glabrous 10-15 mm long; flowers 5-merous. Legumes moniliform, much curved or twisted, 6-8 cm long, 5-6 mm broad, dark brown, apex acute; margins yellowish, thickened. Seeds longitudinal in legume; funicle thick, yellow, completely encircling the seed in a single fold more or less dilated for the whole length.

Distribution:  Widespread in the arid areas of South Australia from the North-Western and Nullarbor regions eastwards through the Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula (northern part), Flinders Ranges and Eastern regions to Broken Hill. Mainly associated with woodland, tall and low shrubland. Soils; mainly calcareous but occurring on a wide variety of types. Rainfall 125-300 mm. Also W Aust. Qld, N.T. and N.S.W.

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

Flowering time: June — October.

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

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: A. tetragonophylla phyllodes are used by Aborigines to remove warts by inserting half a dozen pungent phyllode tips in and under the wart which may be removed in four to five days. A skin wash may be prepared from the root bark. The bark gave positive tests for alkaloids and the results of phytochemical screening are also given, Barr et al. (1988).

The seeds of A. tetragonophylla are used by the Aborigines for food after grinding to a paste, Isaacs (1987).

Shurcliff (1986) indicates that the seed of A. tetragonophylla is eaten by birds in the far north-west of South Australia but does not say which birds are involved.

Davies (1976, 1978) indicates that A. tetragonophylla pods were of significant importance in the diet of emus in Western Australia.

Five species of mistletoe have been recorded on A. tetragonophylla in the State Herbarium. The most common is Amyema preissii, wire-leaved mistletoe with A. maidenii pale leaved mistletoe and A. quartdang, grey mistletoe. The wide ranging Lysiana exocarpi, harlequin mistletoe is also common with a single record of L. murrayi, mulga mistletoe.

Cultivation: The straggly habit and prickly phyllodes rather preclude this species from ornamental planting. Useful for low shelter belt planting or for soil stabilisation in inland areas. Moderate to fast growth rate.

Author: Not yet available


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