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Acacia excelsa Benth.
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Mimosoideae
Common name: ironwood

Acacia excelsa Benth. APNI*

Synonyms: Racosperma excelsum (Benth.) Pedley APNI*
Acacia pterocarpa F.Muell. APNI*
Racosperma excelsum (Benth.) Pedley APNI*
Acacia excelsa var. polyphleba Domin APNI*
Acacia excelsa var. typica Domin APNI*

Description: Erect or spreading tree or sometimes shrub 3–15 m high; branchlets terete except at extremities, glabrous.

Phyllodes elliptic to very narrowly elliptic or narrowly oblong, straight to curved, 2–7 cm long (sometimes to 9 cm long), 3–22 mm wide, glabrous, 3–7 longitudinal veins prominent, often with anastomosing minor veins between, apex subacute with a mucro; 1 gland near base; pulvinus 1–2 mm long.

Inflorescences simple, 1–4 in axil of phyllodes or rarely on an axillary axis 1–3 mm long; peduncles usually 5–12 mm long, glabrous; heads globose, 20–35-flowered, 4–8 mm diam., bright yellow.

Pods ± straight, ± flat, slightly to deeply constricted between seeds (often breaking at constrictions), 4–11 cm long, 6–12 mm wide, firmly papery and brittle, finely reticulately veined, glabrous, often ± pruinose, narrowly winged; seeds longitudinal; funicle filiform.

Photo T.M. Tame

Photo T.M. Tame


Flowering: March–June.

Distribution and occurrence: North from Condobolin area and west from Warialda.

Grows in savannah and woodland, in red sandy loams.
NSW subdivisions: NWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

The name, meaning tall, refers to its tree habit. Subspecies are often difficult to separate satisfactorily as phyllodes of varying length and number of prominent veins are often formed on the same plant.

Text by P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: P.G. Kodela & G.J. Harden (2002)

 Key to the subspecies 
1Phyllodes 2–7 cm long, 7–22 mm wide, usually with c. 5 or 6 longitudinal veins prominent.subsp. excelsa
Phyllodes 4–5 cm long, 3–6 mm wide, with 3 or 4 longitudinal veins prominent.subsp. angusta

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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