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Species profile—Acacia curranii (curly-bark wattle)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → LeguminosaeAcacia curranii (curly-bark wattle)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Acacia curranii Maiden
Common name
curly-bark wattle
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Curran's wattle
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Back on Track (BoT) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Acacia curranii is a broom-like, erect or spreading multi-stemmed shrub growing to 3 m high with distinctive red curling bark ('Minnie Ritchi'). The branchlets are long, angular, maroon-grey in colour, and are usually silky pubescent or subglabrous. The young shoots have appressed, yellow hairs. The phyllodes are erect, linear, subterete or flattened, 8.5 to 18 cm long and 0.7 to 1.5 mm wide. They are striped with 25 parallel longitudinal nerves and usually silky, especially in the groove between the nerves. There is 1 basal gland approximately 2 to 3mm above the pulvinus. The inflorescences are golden yellow in colour, and arranged in obloid spikes which are 0.4 to 1.2 cm long. The seed pods are linear, flat and usually straight sided or slightly constricted between seeds, 4 to 7 cm long and 2 to 3 mm wide. They are firmly chartaceous, and covered in loosely matted hairs. The seeds are longitudinal, usually narrow, oblong-elliptic, 3 to 3.3 mm long and dark brown in colour.
Acacia curranii is most closely allied to A. cyperophylla which also has distinctive red curling bark (Mini Ritchi') bark, and superficially similar phyllodes. However there is no geographic overlap in the distribution of the two species and specimens are easily distinguished by the presence of long silky hairs on the branchlets and phyllode base of A. curranii. Hairs are absent or if present are short, appressed and only on the branchlets of A. cyperophylla (Tindale and Kodela 2001; Kodela 2005).
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There are approximately 20 populations of A. curranii known near Lake Cargelligo, ranging from several thousand individuals per population, to only one individual. The Gunderbooka Range has a single stand of A. curranii with a few individual plants. Two populations consisting of several hundred plants occur in the vicinity of Gurulmundi, Queensland. This species is conserved within the Gundabooka National Park and Nombinnie Nature Reserve (DECC, 2005a).
Distributional limits
-26.4088888, 149.9177763
-26.4616667, 150.0844347
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Acacia curranii grows in dry sclerophyll forests and semi-arid woodlands across a variety of habitats within western New South Wales and Queensland. In NSW, A. curranii occurs in the Lake Cargelligo area where it grows on the toeslopes and north-facing crests of hills and ranges (Pickard 1995c). Here, all the populations occur on stony soil with an extensive bedrock outcrop (Pickard 1995b). There is some variation in lithology, occurring on sandstone, rhyolite and trachyte, but the shrub is always on acid rocks (Pickard 1995b). Vegetation communities supporting the species include E. dwyeri, A. triptera, A. doratoxylon mallee/shrubland and E. intertexta - C. glaucophylla, E. microcarpa -C. glaucophylla woodland (Ayers et al. 1996). In the Gunderbooka Range, NSW, A. curranii grows on the crest and slope of the range (Pickard 1995c). The soil is stony, developed from sandstone (Pickard 1995c). Vegetation communities supporting the species include E. morrisii -Callitris glaucophylla woodland (Ayers et al. 1996). In Gurulmundi, Qld, it occurs on deeply weathered sandstone forming red sandy soils (Pickard 1995c). The soil is stony with patches of deep sand and little evidence of rock outcrop near the patches (Pickard 1995b). Here, the species occurs in widely scattered thickets in patches of diverse heath scrub with emergent trees (Pickard 1995c). Associated species include Hakea purpurea, Kunzea opposita, Baeckea sp. (Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Anecdotes and field observations indicate that populations adjacent to Nombinnie Nature Reserve, at Shepherds Hill and at Gurulmundi are regenerating after disturbance and fire (Pickard 1995b). In general populations which have undergone disturbance (e.g. Railway spur at Shepherds Hill) or fire (burnt sites near Nombinnie Nature Reserve) appear to have many small plants, while undisturbed populations are generally composed entirely of medium to large plants. It is uncertain whether the many small plants that seem to be a result of disturbance are seedlings or root suckers. No recruitment of juveniles was observed at Gundabooka NP which suggests the impact of grazing and/or altered fire regimes limits the reproduction of the species (NSW NPWS 2005)
The three main population regions are considered too isolated for gene flow. Populations within the Lake Cargelligo area are separated by tens of kilometres, possibly sufficient to hinder gene flow (Pickard, 1995c).
There is limited information about the ecology and biology of the A. curranii and current information is largely anecdotal. Flowering of the species occurs from August to September (Tindale and Kodela, 2001; Queensland Herbarium, 2011) and pods ripen in November (Lithgow 1997). The species may require fire before the seeds will germinate (Pickard, 1995c). Preliminary attempts to germinate seeds by seed scarification have been largely unsuccessful, though this may be due to insect damage or poor development rendering seeds unviable (Pickard, 1995c).
Threatening processes
The main identified threats to A. curranii are habitat destruction; grazing and browsing of adult and seedling plants by feral goats (Capra hircus); grazing by stock, rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and macropods; clearing of vegetation for fire trail widening; quarrying activities at the Shephards Hill and Gurulmundi sites; and lack of suitable fire disturbance for seedling establishment (DECC, 2005a; DSEWPC 2008).
Status notes
Acacia curranii is listed as Vulnerable under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992, the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Management documents
Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats (EA, 2008), and Gundabooka National Park and Gundabooka State Conservation Area Plan of Management (NSW NPWS, 2005).
Management recommendations
Management recommendations for Acacia curranii are listed in Species Profile and Threats Database (DECC, 2005a; DSEWPC, 2008). Regional and local priority actions include: avoiding habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. do not permit further clearing of potential habitat, and careful assessment of development applications); trampling, browsing and grazing (e.g. development and implementation of stock management plans, protect from all grazing animals); raising conservation awareness of the species (e.g. raise awareness in the local community) and enabling recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. research into regeneration and seed-set requirements).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Darling Downs, Leichhardt. Also occurs in the following regions: New South Wales.
Ayers, D., Nash, S., and Baggett, K. (Eds) (1996). Threatened Species of Western New South Wales, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2008). Acacia curranii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Canberra. Accessed 05/09/2011.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008). Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by unmanaged goats, DEWHA, Canberra Accessed 09/09/2011.
Kodela, P.G. (2005). Acacia curranii, in PlantNet: New South Wales Flora Online. National Herbarium of New South Wales. Accessed 23/02/2012.
Lithgow, G. (1997). Sixty Wattles of the Chinchilla and Murilla Shires. M.G. Lithgow, Chinchilla, Queensland.
NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) (2005a). Curly-bark Wattle Profile. Accessed 05/09/2011.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) (2005). Gundabooka National Park - Final Management. [Online]. NSW Department of Environment and Conservation. Accessed 09/09/2011.
Pickard, J. (1995a). Acacia curranii Maiden (Curly Bark Wattle) Recovery Plan. Australian Nature Conservation Agency.
Pickard, J. (1995b). Acacia curranii Maiden (Curly Bark Wattle) Research Plan. Australian Nature Conservation Agency.
Pickard, J. (1995c). Acacia curranii Maiden (Curly Bark Wattle) Conservation Research Statement. Australian Nature Conservation Agency.
Queensland Herbarium (2011). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 22/09/2011.
Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1983). Flora of south-eastern Queensland, vol. 1, Queenland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.
Tindale, M.D. and Kodela, P.G. (2001). Acacia curranii. Flora of Australia Online. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Accessed 21/06/2012.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (11/01/2012)

Other resources

Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT)
The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH)
Atlas of Living Australia

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
7 September 2021
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