Flinders Ranges Wattle

Acacia iteaphylla F.Muell. ex Benth.

Synonyms -

Family: - Mimosaceae


Iteaphylla is the Greek word meaning Willow leaved.

Flinders Range Wattle refers to it abundance in the Flinders Range in South Australia and its membership of the wattle or Acacia family.

Other Names:

Willow Leaved Wattle.

Winter Wattle because it flowers over winter.


Flinders Ranges Wattle is a dense, hairless shrub 2-5 m high with smooth, greenish bark, weeping branchlets and grey-green foliage. The leaves are replaced by fairly narrow undivided leaf-like phyllodes. The phyllodes are 50-140 mm long and 3.5-8 mm wide, each face with a single prominent longitudinal vein (midrib). The pale to lemon yellow flower heads are globular and arranged in a 6 to 16-headed spray, each head with 12-17 flowers. When young the inflorescence is enclosed by broad concave bracts with brown tips. The seed pods are usually straight and 60-120 mm long by 6-12 mm wide.

Native to South Australia, it is commonly cultivated and now a weed of disturbed woodland near settlement or refuse disposal areas. It flowers mainly from April to September.




First leaves:



Alternate. Grey green.

On mature plants there are no true leaves and only leaf like phyllodes which are flattened petioles.

Phyllodes: 50-140 mm long by 3.5-8 mm wide, oblong to narrowly elliptic, thin. Prominent central nerve with no (or obscure) lateral nerves. 1 obscure gland near the edge at the base. Pointed tip with a straight or curved fine tip (mucro) 1-2 mm long. The gland is hard to see and 1-10 mm above the pulvinus. Parallel sides. Tapered base. Tip pointed. Hairless.

Stipules -

Petiole - Petioles are flattened into leaf like phyllodes. Base of petiole swollen to form the pulvinus.

Blade - None on mature trees, bipinnate on juvenile foliage.


2-5 m tall, spreading and shrubby.

Branchlets often becoming pendulous, angular near the ends, usually with a waxy bloom. Hairless.

Bark - Green on young plants

Flower head:

Small sprays of 8-16 pale yellow globular heads arising from the leaf axils.

Globular heads initially enclosed in a brown, overlapping, hairy, egg shaped bracts. 12-17 flowers in each head. Each head is on a slender stalk (peduncle) that is 6-10 mm long, slender and hairless. 8-16 heads in a hairless, waxy bloom, raceme that is 20-40 mm long and much shorter than the leaf (phyllode)


Lemon yellow. Bisexual. Actinomorphic.

Ovary - Superior. One carpel. Numerous ovules

Style - Threadlike

Sepals - 5, tiny and bristle like and free.

Petals - 5, free.

Stamens - Numerous and free.

Anthers - Fertile. 2 celled. Opening by longitudinal slits


Parallel sided, flattish, hairless pod with nerve like edges. 60-120 mm long by 6-12 mm wide, thinly leathery and often with a waxy bloom. Pods alternately raised on either side of the seeds. The seeds placed longitudinally in the pod. Pod opens by two valves


Dull dark brown to black, oblong to elliptic, 5-6.5 mm long,

Funicle has 2-3 short folds joining a narrow aril near the seed (see diagram).



Key Characters:

Phyllodes flat, 1 nerved, not pungent, broad-linear, 5-10 cm long.

Young flower heads enclosed in large concave bracts.

Flower heads globular and in axillary racemes.

Flowers yellow and actinomorphic.

Ovary superior.

Stamens all free, more than 10 and usually < 0.5 mm long, white cream, yellow or orange yellow

Adapted from J. Black.


Life cycle:

Perennial. Seeds tend to germinate in from autumn to spring after fire or disturbance.



By seed.

Flowering times:

July to September in SA.

April to September in WA.

Autumn to winter in SE Australia.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids, varieties, cultivars and sub species:

Many forms sold through nurseries from upright to very pendulous varieties.


Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Long range spread is usually by intentional planting or dumping of garden refuse.

Origin and History:

Native to South Australia.



In the Flinders and Gawler Ranges in SA

Naturalised in the Swan Coastal Plain and Jarrah Forest regions of WA.

Naturalised in eastern SA, NSW and Victoria.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Jarrah forest.




Yellow, white and grey sands. Grows mainly on hills and rocky outcrops or along rock creeks

Plant Associations:

Jarrah woodland.





Minor environmental weed.


Not recorded as toxic.





Management and Control:

Picloram, Garlon and glyphosate are used for chemical control as overall sprays, stem injection, cut stump or topical application to the trunk.

Use Garlon 480 at 1:400 and Roundup CT at 1:200 as an overall spray for control of juvenile trees and 2 L/ha Garlon 480 for control of seedlings.

2 L/ha of Roundup (360 g/L) controls seedlings in autumn winter and spring but 4 L/ha was required for late summer applications.

Fire destroys the mature trees but usually leads to a mass germination of seedlings. However if these seedlings are controlled it very quickly reduces the seed bank in the soil. Seedlings tend not establish in mature stands.

A long term control plan is usually required for success.

Target areas that have been recently burnt because these will be more prone to invasion and the seed bank will be reduced due to the fire induced germination of seed.


Eradication strategies:

1) In large dense stands a hot fire may be used to kill old trees and encourage seed to germinate so that it may controlled by herbicides and reduce the soil seed bank.

2) Apply herbicides in spring.

3) Good control can be achieved by injecting the all stems with 1 mL Tordon® Timber Control herbicide per 1.5 metres of height in autumn or spring when trees are actively growing.

4) Overall spraying with 1 L Garlon® or Grazon® plus 250 mL Pulse® per 100 L water is often easier than stem injections or basal bark spraying because of the shrubby nature of the tree. However, this may cause damage to companion species. 1 L Lontrel®300 plus 250 mL Pulse® per 100 L of water provides more selective control in Eucalypt and Pine forests.

5) For seedlings, apply 4 L/ha of glyphosate (450 g/L) or spray until just wet with a mixture of 100 mL of glyphosate (450 g/L) per 10 L of water.

6) For juvenile trees, spray a mixture of 100 mL of glyphosate (450 g/L) plus 25 mL Pulse Penetrant per 10 L of water onto the foliage until just wet. A concentrated mix of 1 part glyphosate with 2 parts water can also be applied using a window washer bottle. Apply about 3 mL of this solution per square metre of foliage. Lontrel®750 at 2 kg/ha may provide more selective control in some situations.

7) Avoid further burning or denuding the area as this will encourage seedling establishment.

8) Repeat the treatment every second year to ensure that no trees reach an age where they can set seed.

If glyphosate is not providing good control then try Garlon®, Grazon®, Hotshot®, Starane® or clopyralid(300g/L). Test various times of treatment in your area. A large number of seedlings often emerge in the season after felling, burning or spraying. If these are left the infestation may become worse. Follow up every 2-3 years to ensure no trees reach an age where they set seed.

Avoid further burning or denuding of the area as this will encourage seedling establishment.

Cutting at the base, ringbarking or bulldozing of old trees and hand pulling seedlings provides good control.

Don't buy or plant them in gardens outside their native range in South Australia.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Unlikely because many are Australian native species.

Related plants:

See A key for weedy Acacias and similar native species

There are more than 500 native Acacia species in WA.

Weedy and look-alike species include

Acacia Hedge (Acacia paradoxa). Noxious weed.

Black Wattle (Acacia decurrens) Bark used for tanning.

Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) Bark used in tanning.

Blakely's Wattle (Acacia blakelyi) Used in revegetation.

Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla)

Burrow's Wattle (Acacia burrowii)

Caterpillar Wattle (Acacia lasiocalyx) Used in revegetation.

Cedar Wattle (Acacia elata) Ornamental

Chisholm's Wattle (Acacia chisholmii)

Coast Myall (Acacia binervia) is toxic to stock.

Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana) Ornamental

Curracabah (Acacia concurrens)
Currawong (Acacia sparsiflora)
Cutch Tree (Acacia cutechu) Noxious weed.

Deane's Wattle (Acacia deanei)

Dwarf Silver Wattle (Acacia nano-dealbata)

Flinders Ranges Wattle (Acacia iteaphylla)

Gidgee (Acacia cambagei)

Georgina Gidgee (Acacia georginae) is toxic to stock.

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)

Golden-wreath Wattle (Acacia saligna) Used in revegetation.

Gosford Wattle (Acacia prominens) Ornamental

Green Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) Bark used in tanning.

Hop Mulga (Acacia craspedocarpa)

Manna Wattle (Acacia microbotrya) Used in revegetation.

Mimosa bush (Acacia farnesiana)

Motherumbah (Acacia cheelii)

Mountain Cedar Wattle (Acacia elata)

Mulga (Acacia aneura) Used for fodder.

Prickly Acacia (Acacia nilotica). Noxious weed.

Prickly Moses (Acacia pulchella)

Queensland Silver Wattle (Acacia podalyriifolia)

Red Wattle (Acacia sylvestris)

Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata)

Snowy River Wattle (Acacia boormanii) Ornamental

Sweet Wattle (Acacia suaveolens)

Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia)

White Sally (Acacia floribunda)

Acacia glaucescens is toxic to stock.

Acacia jucunda

Racosperma species.

Plants of similar appearance:

Myrtle Wattle (Acacia myrtifolia) usually has broader phyllodes at 4-30 mm wide, reddish young shoots and branchlets and flower heads which have very few (2-5) flowers per head and only 4 sepals and 4 petals to each flower.

Sweet Wattle (Acacia suaveolens) is very similar.


Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P411. Diagram P414.

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P190.

Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #3.13.

Maslin, B.R. (2001) Wattle. Acacias of Australia. CD.

Moore, J.H. and Wheeler, J.R. (2008). Southern Weeds and their Control. (Second Edition). Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia. P 167. Photos.

Paczkowska, G. and Chapman, A. (2000). The Western Australia flora: a descriptive catalogue. (Wildflower Society of Western Australia (Inc), the Western Australian Herbarium, CALM and the Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority). P312.

Tame, T.(1992). Acacias of Southeast Australia. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, NSW, Australia. P145. Diagram.


Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.