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Acacia paradoxa DC.
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Mimosoideae
Common name: kangaroo thorn, hedge wattle

Acacia paradoxa DC. APNI*

Synonyms: Acacia armata R.Br. APNI*
Acacia microcantha A.Dietr. APNI*
Acacia ornithophora Sweet APNI*
Acacia tristis Graham APNI*
Mimosa armata (R.Br.) Poir. APNI*

Description: Erect or spreading shrub 1–4 m high; bark finely fissured, brownish grey; branchlets ± terete with low ridges, ± hairy. Stipules spinescent, slender, mostly 5–15 mm long.

Phyllodes lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, straight or slightly curved, 0.8–3 cm long, 2.5–7 mm wide, glabrous to hairy, midvein and marginal veins prominent, lateral veins conspicuous or faint, margins often ± undulate, apex pungent-pointed or acute with a mucro; 1 small gland near base; pulvinus to 0.5 mm long.

Inflorescences simple, 1 or rarely 2 in axil of phyllodes; peduncles 6–20 mm long, usually glabrous; heads globose, 20–45-flowered, 5–10 mm diam., yellow to bright yellow.

Pods ± straight, raised over seeds, ± straight-sided or irregularly ± constricted between seeds, 2–7 cm long, 3–5 mm wide, densely hairy; seeds longitudinal; funicle filiform or expanded towards seed.

Photo T.M. Tame

Photo Tanja Lenz

Other photo
Photo T.M. Tame


Flowering: July–November.

Distribution and occurrence: widely distributed from the coast west to Moree and Griffith areas.

Grows in many different communities in various soil types.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. *Tas. W.A. S.A.
AVH map***

Frequently hybridises with a number of other acacias, particularly those of the Acacia verniciflua group and may be most closely related to this group. The name is from the Greek paradoxos, meaning strange, contrary to expectation, which may refer to this thorny, rather unattractive shrub being a showy plant when in full bloom (N. Hall & L.A.S. Johnson, The Names of Acacias of New South Wales, 1993).

Text by P.G. Kodela (last updated June 2012)
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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