Common name: downy wattle, hairy-stemmed wattle
Acacia pubescens (Vent.) R.Br. APNI*
Synonyms: Racosperma pubescens (Vent.) Pedley APNI*
Mimosa pubescens Vent. APNI*
Acacia mollissima Hort. ex Willd. APNI*
Mimosa mollissima (Willd.) Poir. APNI*
Description: Spreading to slightly weeping shrub 1–5 m high; bark smooth, brownish grey; branchlets angled at apex becoming ± terete with ridges, hairy with long fine hairs.
Leaves ± sessile on pulvinus, rachis 1.5–6.5 cm long, hairy, glands absent or small, often inconspicuous, jugary or rarely interjugary glands irregularly present; pinnae 3–12 pairs, 0.5–2.5 cm long; pinnules 5–20 pairs, mostly oblong to narrowly oblong, 1.5–5 mm long, 0.4–1 mm wide, glabrous.
Inflorescences 6–49 in an axillary or terminal raceme with axis 2.5–11 cm long (axis often zigzagged) or sometimes in a terminal panicle; peduncles 2–6 mm long, glabrous or sparsely hairy; heads globose, 8–16-flowered, 3–6 mm diam., bright yellow.
Pods ± straight, ± flat, ± straight-sided to variably constricted between seeds, 1.5–8 cm long, 4–6.5 mm wide, firmly papery to thinly leathery, glabrous, ± pruinose; seeds longitudinal; funicle filiform.
Distribution and occurrence: Bilpin to Georges River and in the Oakdale area (Central Coast); southern limit outlier populations at Aylmerton (Central Tablelands) and Nowra area (South Coast); dubiously recorded at Woodford where it is possibly cultivated.
Usually grows in dry sclerophyll forest and woodland in clay soils. Often in roadside and railside bushland remnants.
NSW subdivisions: CC, CT
Threatened species: NSW TSCA: Vulnerable ROTAP: 3VCa
The name refers to the hairy nature of the foliage. Acacia pubescens is threatened by the loss of much of its habitat through urbanisation in the Sydney region. May be confused with A. cardiophylla which has cordate pinnules. Hybridises with A. baileyana, A. cardiophylla and other species. Information on the threatened status of A. pubescens is available from the NPWS Threatened Species Information sheet and Recovery Plan, as well as the Species Profile and Threats Database.
Text by P.G. Kodela (last updated June 2016)
Taxon concept: P.G. Kodela & G.J. Harden, Flora of NSW Vol. 2 (2002)
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