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Species profile—Acacia attenuata


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → LeguminosaeAcacia attenuata

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Acacia attenuata Maiden & Blakely
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
whipstick wattle
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 013082
Acacia attenuata is a slender shrub that grows 3 to 4 m tall. The adult foliage is comprised of hairless phyllodes that are 10 to 14 cm long and 7 to 16 mm wide with a prominent central vein. The phyllodes are widest above the middle and taper to a narrow leaf base and tip and the gland on mature phyllodes is 1 to 5mm from the base. As in many wattle species, the juvenile leaves occur in a bipinnate arrangement. A. attenuata retains juvenile leaves for a long period, even until the plants are flowering and fruiting. Inflorescences are 5 to 7 cm long and can have 6 to 14 branches. Each branch may have a cluster of 20 to 35 white to cream flowers. The dark brown seed pods are flat, hairless and slightly narrowed between the seeds, 8 to 10 cm long and 13 to 14 mm wide. The hard-coated seeds are 5 to 6 mm long, dark brown and are encircled by a dry funicle.
A. attenuata is related to A. rubida which has phyllodes that dry to a reddish colour and glands 1 to 40 cm above the base of the leaf stalk, light golden flower-heads and narrower pods. A. latisepala, like A. attenuata, may flower in the juvenile state, but it has golden flower-heads and a prominent gland 10 to 20 mm from the base of the leaf stalk (Stanley and Ross 1983; Kodela 2001).
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Acacia attenuata is endemic to southeast Queensland. It is found from just north of Bundaberg to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast and never more than 30 km inland from the sea. The species is located within the Burleigh Knoll Conservation Park, Great Sandy national Park, Littabella National park, Mooloolah River national Park, Noosa National Park, Poona National Park, Tewantin National park, Toolara State Forest and Tuan State Forest (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-24.5817488, 152.026055
-28.0900672, 153.4427366
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Acacia attenuata is found in wet heathland and open eucalypt forest communities in low-lying coastal habitats where soils are sandy / peaty and subject to seasonal waterlogging. It is also found in open woodland and open forest communities, usually with a heath understorey (Barker 1995; Brownlie 2007; Queensland Herbarium 2011)
Acacia attenuata is a perennial shrub and field observations suggest a life span of between five and ten years. As a fast growing pioneer species, A. attenuata reaches heights of up to 2m within the first year, has a juvenile period of approximately two years (three years at most) and senescence (process of aging and decline) may commence after approximately five to six years. Consistent with other Acacia species, fire appears to play an important role in the recruitment patterns of A. attenuata. (Brownlie 2007)
Acacia attenuata flowers from April to August. Seed pod development may commence around July and pods reach maturity in mid-spring (October-November) to early summer. Seed dispersal is primarily over a short distance and is effected by gravity or possibly forcible ejection from pods that open spontaneously when ripe. Reproduction occurs mostly from seed, although vegetative regeneration from damaged stems and surface roots has been observed in response to mechanical disturbance (slashing, road grading, soil cultivation). Collection and propagation of seed has indicated seed dormancy, a common trait among other hard-seeded Acacia species. No information is currently available on the period of seed viability. (Barker 1995; Halford 2998; Brownlie 2007)
Threatening processes
The key threats to Acacia attenuata include loss and fragmentation of habitat through urban development, inappropriate fire regimes, habitat degradation and weed invasion. Potential threats include modification of hydrological regimes and small population size (Halford 1998; Brownlie 2007).
Status notes
Acacia attenuata is listed as Vulnerable under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Commonwealth Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Management documents
Brownlie, H. (2007). National Recovery Plan for Acacia attenuata. Report to Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.
Management recommendations
Brownlie (2007) recommended several recovery actions including that field surveys take place to assess the current distribution and size of populations and find new populations, and that weed control measures and interim fire management plans be put in place.
Barker, M. (1995). Acacia attenuata, in Species Management Manual. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Brownlie, H. (2007). National Recovery Plan for Acacia attenuata. Report to Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008). Acacia attenuata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 17/09/2008.
Halford, D. (1998). Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South-East Queensland Biographical Region. [Online].Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee, Brisbane.
Kodela, P.G. (2001). Acacia attenuata. Flora of Australia Online. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Accessed 21/06/2012.
Queensland Herbarium (2011). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 15/10/2011.
Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1983). Flora of south-eastern Queensland, vol. 1, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (21/06/2012)

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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
20 May 2024