Acacia stenophylla

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Acacia stenophylla
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Clade: Mimosoid clade
Genus: Acacia
A. stenophylla
Binomial name
Acacia stenophylla
A.Cunn. ex Benth.
Acacia stenophyllaDistMap851.png
Occurrence data from AVH

Acacia stenophylla is a species of Acacia[2] commonly referred to as the shoestring acacia. It is an evergreen tree in the family Fabaceae native to Australia. It is not considered rare or endangered.[3]


Acacia stenophylla varies in characteristic and size, from a rounded, multi stemmed shrub to a spreading tree.[4] A. stenophylla grows from 4–20 m (13–66 ft) tall,[4] often stemming into branches at the trunk from about 1 m (3.3 ft).[5] Bark is dark-grey to blackish and rough, branchlets are smooth to sericeous and sometimes angular.[4]

The phyllodes are strap-like, 15–40 cm (5.9–15.7 in) long, 2–10 mm (0.079–0.394 in) wide, straight to slightly curved, slightly rough, free from hair or very finely puberulous, acute to acuminate, apex is often strongly curved.[4] Veins are copious and closely parallel.[6]

Racemes are 3–5-headed, stems 2–15 mm (0.079–0.591 in) long and are slightly rough or with appressed minute hairs.[4] Peduncles are 6–13 mm (0.24–0.51 in) long.[4] Flower heads are creamy-white to pale yellow in colour, spherical and 6–9 mm (0.24–0.35 in) in diameter.[4] Flowers are 5-merous, sepals three-quarters united.[4]

Pods are moniliform, up to 26 cm (10 in) long, 8–12 mm (0.31–0.47 in) wide, woody-leathery textured, smooth except micro-puberulous between seeds.[4] Seeds are longitudinal, elliptic, 7–9 mm (0.28–0.35 in) long, dark brown, lacking aril, funicle enlarged, are folded at the seed apex.[4] Flowering time is often irregular, although mainly occurring in autumn.[4]

Acacia stenophylla is highly salt tolerant and moderately frost and drought tolerant.[7] The average minimum annual rainfall that the tree needs is around 400 mm (16 in) per year.[8]


Acacia stenophylla is predominantly distributed in central and eastern Australia.[2] It is also found infrequently in arid regions of Western Australia and towards the southern end of the western coast, although very rarely.[2]

A. stenophylla is found from the Murray River in South Australia and Victoria to western New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, with a small population also occurring in Western Australia.[2]

Latitude - Main occurrence: 23–33°S[2]

Range: 17–36°S [2]

Altitude - Main occurrence: 50–325 m[2]

Range: near sea level to 625 m[2]



Acacia stenophylla is most commonly found in a warm arid climatic zone.[2] Acacia stenophylla tends to grow to a larger size in semi-arid climates which exist in New South Wales and Queensland.[2] The species also expands into the sub-humid zone in Queensland.[2]

Disregarding the species far southern distribution, the mean maximum temperature of the warmest month is 35–38 °C and the mean minimum of the coolest month 4–7 °C.[2] There are, on average, about 110–130 days per year over 32 °C and 15–50 days over 38 °C.[7]

Acacia stenphylla is subject to experiencing 1–20 heavy frosts per year, on average.[2] The species withstands a variable range of rainfall frequency.[2] Rainfall is often amplified by groundwater or periodic flooding.[7]

Physiography and soils[edit]

Acacia stenophylla is common throughout the Interior Lowlands physiographic division.[2] It is often present on plains and gentle slopes and is common on the banks of watercourses, river flood plains, and depressions.[2] The soils are predominantly fine-textured alluvials, red sandy clay and grey cracking clays.[2] Soils often have a high pH and may be more saline in the lower horizons.[2]

Vegetation type[edit]

Acacia stenophylla occurs in ribbon-like stands along watercourses, often as a part of eucalyptus dominated open-forest, woodland or low woodland.[2] The species can be present in the understorey, often with Acacia salicina and Acacia pendula.[2] It can also occur alongside Eucalyptus populnea and Casuarina cristata, but commonly grows independently alongside watercourses in semi-arid areas.[9]

Utilisation and uses[edit]

Acacia stenophylla is rarely utilised by cattle,[10] but it is palatable to sheep.[11] Seeds and pods of Acacia stenophylla were roasted and used by Indigenous Australians as a food source.[12]

The plant is said to contain medicinal alkaloids.[13]

Acacia stenophylla is widely planted as a drought tolerant and decumbent ornamental tree.[2] It is cultivated by plant nurseries, and used in modernist gardens and in public landscapes in the Southwestern United States and California.

Reproduction and dispersal[edit]

Acacia stenophylla normally flowers from March to August,[14] although it can flower irregularly throughout the year.[6][15] Seed pods turn woody as they mature from October to December and produce approximately 6–12 viable seeds/g.[7]

Acacia stenophylla seeds germinate prolifically.[16] Proceeding major floods, seedlings can often be present along the flood-line, but only a very small proportion of these persist.[10]


Acacia stenophylla belongs to the Genus Acacia, comprising 1200 species worldwide.[3] 900 of these species are endemic to Australia.[3]

  • Kingdom: Plantae[3]
  • Phylum: Charophyta[3]
  • Class: Equisetopsida[3]
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae[3]
  • Superorder: Rosanae[3]
  • Order: Fabales[3]
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Acacia[3]
  • Species: Acacia stenophylla[17]

Common names[edit]

Common names used in Australia include Balkura, Belalie, Black Wattle, Dalby Myall, Dalby Wattle, Dunthy, Eumong, Gooralee, Gurley, Ironwood, Munumula, Native Willow, River Cooba, River Cooba, and River Myall.[1]


The specific epithet is derived from the Greek stenos (narrow) and phyllon (leaf) to give “with narrow leaves”.[18]



  1. ^ a b ILDIS LegumeWeb
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Cole, Trevor J. (1981). Planting trees and shrubs. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.59091. ISBN 0-662-10286-X.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Acacia stenophylla". Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Flora of Victoria". Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  5. ^ "Factsheet - stenophylla". Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  6. ^ a b Schmid, Rudolf; Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (May 2000). "Flora of Victoria. Vol. 4. Dicotyledons: Cornaceae to Asteraceae". Taxon. 49 (2): 344. doi:10.2307/1223869. ISSN 0040-0262. JSTOR 1223869.
  7. ^ a b c d Marcar, N.; Crawford, D.; Leppert, P.; Jovanovic, T.; Floyd, R.; Farrow, R. (1995). Trees for Saltland. doi:10.1071/9780643101425. ISBN 978-0-643-10142-5.
  8. ^ Skeen, Max (May 2009). "Dryland Area Species". Archived from the original on 2006-08-23.
  9. ^ Pedley, L (1992). "Corrigenda — A further note on Acacia aneura (Mimosoideae : Leguminosae)". Australian Systematic Botany. 5 (6): 767. doi:10.1071/sb9920767c. ISSN 1030-1887.
  10. ^ a b Cunningham, G.M.; Mulham, W.E.; Milthorpe, P.L.; Leigh, J.H. (2011). Plants of Western New South Wales. doi:10.1071/9780643104273. ISBN 9780643104273.
  11. ^ Manifold, C. B. (April 1948). "The Use and Misuse of Shrubs and Trees as Fodder". Geographical Review. 38 (2): 342. doi:10.2307/210871. ISSN 0016-7428. JSTOR 210871.
  12. ^ Cribb, Philip; Winterringer, G.S.; Sheviak, C.J. (1976). "Wild Orchids of Illinois". Kew Bulletin. 31 (1): 200. doi:10.2307/4109021. ISSN 0075-5974. JSTOR 4109021.
  13. ^ "Lycaeum". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  14. ^ Schmid, Rudolf; Harden, Gwen J. (August 1992). "Flora of New South Wales". Taxon. 41 (3): 627. doi:10.2307/1222862. ISSN 0040-0262. JSTOR 1222862.
  15. ^ Schomburgk, Richard (1878). Catalogue of the plants under cultivation in the Government Botanic Garden, Adelaide, South Australia. Adelaide: W.C. Cox. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.54333.
  16. ^ "Lithgow, David Cunningham", Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Oxford University Press, 2011-10-31, doi:10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.b00110463
  17. ^ Australia, Atlas of Living. "Species: Acacia stenophylla". Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  18. ^ " Epithet: stenophyllus,-a,-um". Archived from the original on December 3, 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.

External links[edit]