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Flora of Australia Online

Acacia pubescens (Vent.) R.Br., in W.T.Aiton, Hortus Kew. 2nd edn, 5: 467 (1813)
Downy Wattle.

Mimosa pubescens Vent., Jard. Malmaison 1: t. 21 (1803). T: cultivated, ‘Arbrisseau originaire de la Nouvelle Hollande’ [protologue]; type: not found.

Mimosa pubigera Hort. ex Poir., Encycl. Meth. (Bot.) Suppl. 1: 71 (1810), based on Mimosa pubescens Vent. 

Acacia mollissima Hort. ex Willd., Enum. Pl. pt 2 : 1053 (1809); Mimosa mollissima (Willd.) Poir., Encycl. Meth. (Bot.) Suppl. 1: 46 (1810). T: Nova Hollandia, Herb. Willdenow No. 19152 ; holo: B.

Illustrations: Anon., Bot. Mag. 30: t. 1263 (1809), as Mimosa pubescens ; A.Fairley & P.Moore, Native Pl. Sydney District 118, pl. 341 (1989).

Weeping shrub 1–5 m high. Bark smooth, brownish grey. Branchlets ±terete with low ridges, dark brown or dark red-brown, ±villous. Young foliage-tips silvery or yellowish white, villous. Leaves herbaceous, bright green above, paler beneath, subsessile with basal pinnae arising ±immediately or rarely to 0.7 mm above pulvinus, sometimes with a gland at basal pinnae; rachis 1.5–6.6 cm long, ridged, ±villous, mostly eglandular, sometimes with a spherical or ellipsoid pale brown or blackish gland at base of terminal pinnae or rarely 2–6 upper pinnae; pinnae 3–12 pairs, 0.5–2.5 cm long, basal pairs shorter than others; pinnules 5–20 pairs, cultrate to ±oblong, 1.5–5 mm long, 0.4–1 mm wide, 1-nerved, glabrous, acute or subacute. Inflorescences in axillary racemes or terminal false-panicles. Heads 8–16-flowered, golden. Pods 1.5–8 cm long, 4–6.5 mm wide, subcoriaceous, bluish, bluish brown or almost black, ±pruinose. Fig. 6R–S.

Endemic to N.S.W. on the lower Blue Mtns in the Bilpin district, and on the Cumberland Plain from Pitt Town S to George’s R. Grows in open forest or woodland, scrub-woodland and in Melaleuca scrub, in gravelly clay or sandy soils, often on Wianamatta Shale. Flowers Aug.–Oct.; fruits Oct.–Jan. Map 31.

N.S.W.: Mountain Lagoon, C.Dunn 25 & R.G.Coveny (B, BM, CHR, MO, PERTH, TL, UC, US, Z); Wetherill Park, W of Smithfield, O.D.Evans (NSW60631); Long Neck Lagoon Nature Reserve, D.Fortescue 1011 & J.Benson (B, MO, NSW, PERTH); 1.6 km N of Pitt Town, M.D.Tindale s.n. (NSW53064); Chester Hill, M.D.Tindale s.n. (NSW8114).

Acacia pubescens was one of the first Australian acacias cultivated in Europe, being grown at Malmaison near Paris in the garden of the Empress Josephine. This is a rare and endangered species since much of its original habitat in western Sydney has been destroyed for housing.

(M.D.Tindale, P.G.Kodela)


Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 11A (2001), 11B (2001) and 12 (1998), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia