T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Acacia verticillata (Prickly acacia)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Rosids
Order:       Fabales
Family:      Fabaceae
Genus:      Acacia
Species:     A. verticillata
Binomial name: Acacia verticillata
Synonyms:  Acacia verticillata var. angusta, Acacia verticillata var. glabra, Mimosa verticillata, Phyllodoce verticillata, Racosperma verticillatum.
Common names: Prickly Moses, Prickly-leaved wattle, Prickly acacia, Prickly Mimosa, Whorl-Leaved Acacia, Star-Leaved Acacia, Star acacia.

Acacia verticillata is listed by many New Zealand’s Regional councils as an environment pest plant.  Its spreads from old gardens moving along road margins and open banks. Its impact to the biota and ecosystems is that it rapidly occupies vacant spaces on road edges, or forest edge work sites and crowds out native plants which should be regenerating in these locations.
Acacia verticillata is a dicotyledonous, perennial shrub to small tree native to Australia and Tasmania. The species is a common understorey shrub in both wet and dry sclerophyll forests as well as scrub and heath. In New Zealand its habitats are banks, clay soils, coast areas, forest edges, gullies, roadsides and unstable/eroded areas.

Acacia verticillata stems are ribbed and are sparsely to densely hairy. The leaves are small sharply pointed phyllodes (false leaves) are up to 17 x 3 mm. and 1.5-2.5 mm wide. They have one prominent vein and 1-2 less prominent veins.
Its inflorescences which are numerous (September, October) consist of numerous pale yellow flowers arranged on short cylindrical spikes that extend beyond the leaves.
Its seeds are in elongated pods (5-10 cm long) which are sparsely hairy when young and glabrous when mature. This trees dispersal is by seed.
Trees are often covered by a fungi induced galls. 

There are a number of sub specific taxa in New Zealand within Acacia verticillata e.g. Acacia verticillata subsp. cephalantha, Acacia verticillata subsp. ovoidea, Acacia verticillata subsp. ruscifolia, Acacia verticillata subsp. verticillata,  Racosperma verticillatum subsp. cephalanthum, Racosperma verticillatum subsp. ovoideum, Racosperma verticillatum subsp. ruscifolium, Racosperma verticillatum subsp. verticillatum.









The small sharply pointed phyllodes (false leaves)

Trees are often covered by galls.made by the fungus Uromycladium notabile  


A old Uromycladium notabile  gall.