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Flora of Australia Online

Acacia coriacea DC., Prodr. 2: 451 (1825), Mem. Legum. pt 8, 446 (1827)
Wirewood, Desert Oak, Dogwood, Wiry Wattle.

Racosperma coriaceum (DC.) Pedley, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 92: 248 (1986). T: Western Australia (sphalm. ‘Nouvelle Holland. cote orient.’), [June–July 1801, N.Baudin Expedition]; lecto: G-DC, fruiting specimen, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 9: 84 (1993); isolecto: K, P; paralecto: flowering specimen on type sheet: G-DC, P.

Spreading shrub or tree 1–10 m high. Bark fibrous, hard or thick-spongy. Young new growth yellow-green sericeous. Branchlets sometimes pendulous, slightly angular to terete, glabrous to minutely sericeous. Phyllodes linear, ±straight to shallowly arcuate, flat or rarely subterete, 12–33 cm long, 1.5–10 mm wide, acute to acuminate, coriaceous to rigid-coriaceous, occasionally subglabrous to sericeous between numerous closely parallel fine nerves. Inflorescences mostly 1- or 2-headed racemes; raceme axes minute, rarely to 6 mm long; peduncles 5–32 mm long, subglabrous to sericeous; heads globular, 3–8 mm diam., 15–50-flowered, pale yellow or cream-coloured. Flowers 5-merous; sepals 1/2–3/4-united. Pods moniliform, twisted and coiled or nearly straight before dehiscence, to 34 cm long, 7–12 mm wide, coriaceous, longitudinally nerved, normally minutely appressed-puberulous. Seeds longitudinal, broadly elliptic, 4–8 mm long, glossy, black; aril large, bright orange. 

Two of the subspecies are restricted to north-western Australia and one is widespread across northern central Australia, fide R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 9: 84 (1993). 

Superficially similar to A. stenophylla which has nerveless, woody, indehiscent, moniliform pods, exarillate seeds, more prominent phyllode nerves and inflorescence with a generally well developed axis. Also sometimes resembling A. sibilans in phyllode morphology and has sometimes been confused in some regions with A. calcicola .

There are three subspecies.

(R.S.Cowan, B.R.Maslin)

1 Bark thin, fibrous, hard; flowering peduncles typically 5–10 mm long; pods ±twisted and coiled before dehiscence


1: Bark thick, ±spongy and yellow inside; flowering peduncles mostly more than 10 mm long; pods curved or straight, becoming twisted after dehiscence; phyllodes 1.5–9 mm wide

subsp. sericophylla

2 Phyllodes ±erect, almost straight to very shallowly incurved, 1.5–10 mm wide

subsp. coriacea

2: Phyllodes and branchlets pendulous, producing weeping habit; phyllodes shallowly to strongly recurved, 1.5–5 mm wide

subsp. pendens


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