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  ― 166 ―

No. 181: Acacia rubida,

A. Cunn.

Red leaved Wattle.


Botanical description.

— Genus, Acacia. (See Part XV, p. 103)

Botanical description.

— Species, A. rubida, A. Cunningham, in Barron Field's New South Wales, 344 (1825).

Following is the original description:—

Acacia rubida. Foliis ovato-lanceolatis; apice obliquis mucronatis; mucrone innocuo; margine superiore uni- glanduloso, racemis pedunculatis (parvis) axillaribus terminalibusve, costae margine que foliorum rubido-coloratis. A shrub frequent on the edge of mountain-rills, Blue Mountains. (Allan Cunningham in Field's N.S. Wales, 344.)

Then we have the description in English by Don:

A. rubida (Cunningh. in Field's New South Wales; p. 344). Phyllodia ovate-lanceolate, ending in an oblique innocuous mucrone at the apex, bearing a gland on the upper margin; racemes small, pedunculate, axillary, and terminal; the rib and margins of the leaves coloured with red. Native of New Holland, frequent on the edge of rills on the blue Mountains.

Reddish Acacia. Fl., April, June. Clt, 1823. Sh., 4 to 6 feet. (Don's Gen. Hist. Dichlammydeous Pls., Vol. 2, p. 406)

The description in Bentham's revision of the genus follows:

A. rubida (Cunn. in Field's N.S. Wales, 344), glaberrima, ramulis angulatis, phyllodiis elongato- lanceolatis acutis breviter calloso-mucronulatis rectis V. leviter falcatis crassiusculis basi longe angustatis uninerviis tenuiter marginatis, venis inconspicuis, glandula a basi distante, racemis phyllodio plerisque brevioribus, capitulis parvis 10–20-floris ovarioque glabris. A. amoena, Sieb. Pl. ex., non Wendl-Planta siccitate rubescit, Phyllodia pleraque 3-poll. longa, 4–6 lin. lata. Racemi numerosi, 10–12-cephali. Pedunculi 2–3 lin. longi. Rami inferiores etiam floriferi folia saepe ferunt bipinnata, petiolis pubescentibus, glandula basilari immersa, jugalibus nullis, pinnis 4–7 jugis foliolis 10–15-jugis oblongo-falcatis mucronulatis crassiuseulis glabris subciliatis-Blue Mountains, Cunningham, Sieber, n. 452. (Hooker's London Journal of Botany, Vol. 1, 355.)

Bentham's description in English is as follows:

A. rubida, A. Cunn. in Field, N. S. Wales, 344. A tall shrub, quite glabrous, allied to A. amoena, and perhaps a variety; branchlets angular.

Phyllodia lanceolate, often faleate, rather acute, much narrowed towards the base, mostly about 3 inches long rather thick, 1-nerved, with nerve-like margins, the veinlets inconspicuoug, and never more than 1 marginal gland.

Racemes shorter than the phyllodia, with several, often 10 to 12, rather small heads of 10 to 15 flowers, mostly 5-merous.

Sepals half as long as the petals, usually coherent.

Petals smooth.

Pod unknown. (B.Fl., ii, 366.)

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Mr.R.T Baker (Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., xxii (1897), 695) described and figured the pot and seed. His words are as follows:—

Pod 4 to 5 inches long and 4 lines broad, slightly curved or straight, vales thinly coriaceous.

Seeds longitudinal, oblong; funicle slightly or not at all enlarged under the seed, encircling it in a double-fold, and occupying the space between the seed and the margins of the valves.

It may be added that the valves are often glaucous. As regards the funicle encircling the seed, it will be seen, on reference to the plate now published, how variable this character is.

The funicle terminates under the seed in a club-shaped aril, then almost or more than encircles the seed, doubles back on itself, again encircles the seed, doubles back sharply, and then, by one or more folds, attaches itself to the margin of the valve.

Four other seeds with their funicles showing are figured, showing variations of the above, and I have wan other variations.

The ovarium, is glabrous. The tops of the sepals are besprinkled with short hairs.


— I will deal with the relations of this species to A. amœna Wendl., to which it is most closely related when I come to that species (in Part L).

Botanical Name.

— Acacia, already explained (see Part XV, p. 104) rubida, Latin, of a deep red colour, refering to the foliage. See "Leaves."


— This is one of the species in which true leaflets, as well as the phyllodia, are present. The reddish-brown colour of the foiage, particularly observable on the true leaflets, but often also on every phyllode, is a character which is easy of observation.


— The species occurs in Northern Victoria and Southern Queensland, and from end to end of New South Wales, chiefly in rocky, elevated localities.

It was for long supposed to be confined to New South Wales, and the following localities are quoted in the Flora Australiensis:—

New South Wales. — Port Jackson to the Blue Mountains, Sieber,n. 452; head of the Gwydir, Leichhardt; Clarence River, Beckler? (Specimens not in flower.)

Following are some localities represented in the National Herbarium, Sydney (so far as I know the Victorian and Queensland localities now given are new for those States):—


Thornleigh, Sydney (W.W. Froggatt); Woodford, Blue Mountains (J.H.M.); Faulconbridge, Blue Mountains (R.H. Cambage and J.H.M.), two localities alongside Cunningham's old track, close to where he obtained his type-specimens. We now turn south.

Cataract Dam (J.H.M.); Bowral to Bullio (R.H. Cambage and J.H.M.); Bowral (W. Greenwood); Berrima (J.L. Boorman and J.H.M.); Wingello (J.L. Boorman., J.H.M.).

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"Small erect tree, No. 3. Steep sides of Shoalhaven gullies, Glen. Rock, February, 1865. C. Moore." This specimen was labelled A. amœna, Wendl., by Mueller. Glenrock is near Marulan, not far from Wingello.

Gundaroo (Rev. J.W. Dwyer); Queanbeyan (Forester Harris, 1893); Clyde Mountain, near Nelligen (J.L. Boorman); Michelago and Little Tinderry Mountain (J.L. Boorman and E. Betche); Cooma (J.H.M.); Cowra Creek, N.E. of Cooma (R.H. Cambage); Tumut (J.L. Boorman, J.H.M.)

Going north, we have it from the Walcha district (J.F. Campbell). Bentham. has recorded it from the head of the Gwydir.

It has been found mostly in southern localities, and it remains to be found in the rocky country connecting the southern with the Blue Mountains localities. We now want the connecting localities from the Blue Mountains to New England, the recording of which is simply a matter of opportunity.


It occurs near Stanthorpe, Queensland (J.L. Boorman).


Buffalo Mountain (West coll. through C. Walter). Rocky Mountains on the Macalister River 2-4,000 feet (Mueller). This specimen was referred both by Mueller and Bentham to A. amœna, Wendl., see B.Fl. ii, 366. It is only in fruit, but its phyllodes are those of A. rubida, while, in my opinion, so are its valves and seeds.


Plate 185: Red Leaved Wattle. (Acacia rubida, A. Cunn.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Phyllode and bipinnate leaf.
  • B. Flowering twig from Faulconbridge. A type locality.
  • C. Flower-head.
  • D. Individual bud.
  • E. Flower with bract (a).
  • F. Flower opened out, showing —
    • (a) calyx.
    • (b) corolla.
    • (c) pistil. (stamens removed).
  • G. Narrow phyllode form, from Cooma.
  • H. Pod.
  • I. Seed. Seeds showing variation in the funicle (all enlarged):—
  • K. From Wingello, N.S.W.
  • L. From Faulconbridge, N.S.W.
  • M. FromRocky Mountains, Macalister River, Victoria.
  • N and O. From Little Tinderry Mountain, N.S.W.

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