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Acacia filicifolia Cheel & M.B.Welch
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Mimosoideae
Common name: fern-leaved wattle

Acacia filicifolia Cheel & M.B.Welch APNI*

Synonyms: Racosperma filicifolium (Cheel & M.B.Welch) Pedley APNI*

Description: Erect shrub to tree 3–14 m high; bark smooth, later deeply fissured near base, black, grey or dark brown; branchlets angled to ± terete with ridges, densely minutely hairy, glabrescent with age, often slightly pruinose.

Leaves with petiole 0.7–2.3 cm long, ± hairy, 1–5 prominent glands present; rachis 1.5–12 cm long (mostly 4 cm or more long), hairy or glabrescent, jugary glands often irregularly present, 2–5 interjugary glands between successive pairs of pinnae; pinnae 3–14 pairs (mostly 5 or more pairs), 3–8 cm long; pinnules 23–93 pairs, narrowly oblong to linear, usually 4–10 mm long and 0.4–0.6 mm wide, mainly ± appressed-ciliate to glabrous.

Inflorescences in axillary and terminal panicles; peduncles 2–4 mm long, finely hairy; heads globose, 15–30-flowered, 3–6 mm diam., yellow to bright yellow.

Pods straight to curved, ± flat, ± straight-sided or constricted between a few seeds, 3.5–13 cm long, 6–17 mm wide, firmly papery to thinly leathery, glabrous, pruinose; seeds longitudinal; funicle expanded towards seed.


Photo T.M. Tame

Photo T.M. Tame

Other photo
Photo T.M. Tame



Flowering: July–October.

Distribution and occurrence: north from Batemans Bay.

Grows in dry sclerophyll forest in sandy soil in gullies, often along creeks.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, NWS, CWS
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

Variable in leaf colour, varying from bright green to grey-green. May be confused with Acacia decurrens, A. mearnsii and A. parramattensis, the first having decurrent petioles with a continuous rib from the underside of the petiole to the branchlet, and the latter two usually having shorter, wider and fewer pinnules. The name refers to the resemblance of the leaves to those of some ferns.

Text by P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: P.G. Kodela & G.J. Harden, Flora of NSW Vol. 2 (2002)

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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