Acacia purpureopetala

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Acacia purpureopetala.jpg
This species is classified RARE. DO NOT harvest this species! Wikipedia.png Plant-icon.png

General Plant Info

Acacia purpureopetala is a rare species endemic to Queensland. It is a small shrub, with spreading prostrate branches that are covered in dense white hairs. It is unique among the Australian acacias in having consistently mauve-pink flowers.

Grows on steep rocky slopes in Eucalyptus woodland; often colonises disused mine sites. Flowers sporadically, though not prolifically, throughout most of the year but main flush in June–July

Seemingly related to Acacia hispidula which has pale yellow to nearly white heads, 3/4-united sepals and phyllodes that are obviously tuberculate, at least on their abaxial margins.

Geographic distribution

Acacia purpureopetala occurs in the Herberton district in the Einasleigh Uplands biogeographic region of north-east Queensland. From north to south there are five general locations where this species is found: Mt Emerald south of Walkamin; Stannery Hills; an area near Herberton; Irvinebank; and along the Misery-Coolgara Road, north-east of Mt Garnet (Queensland Herbarium 2009). This species had been collected at all five locations between 2004-2009 (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

The species' extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are estimated to be 902 km2 and less than 0.1 km2 respectively (Queensland Herbarium 2009).


Sprawling ±prostrate shrub to 0.5 m high; new growth purplish. Branchlets puberulous to pubescent. Stipules 2–3 mm long, normally recurved.

Phyllodes slightly asymmetric, narrowly oblong-elliptic, sometimes oblanceolate, 15–35 mm long, 4–6 mm wide, l:w = 4–7, excentrically mucronate, with 0.5–2 mm long mucro, coriaceous, finely puberulous with hairs often confined to margins when old; midrib and margins prominent; lateral nerves scarcely evident; gland 1–6 mm above pulvinus.

Inflorescences simple, 1 per axil; peduncles 7–15 mm long, puberulous, ebracteate at base, sometimes with a single bract above middle; heads globular, 15–20-flowered, mauve-pink. Flowers 5-merous; sepals ±free.

Pods narrowly oblong to elliptic, to 30 mm long, 4–7 mm wide, normally 1–3-seeded, thinly coriaceous-crustaceous, brown, glabrous or subglabrous.

Seeds longitudinal, circular to widely elliptic, compressed, 4–5 mm long, exarillate; funicle filiform

Alkaloid content


Other uses


No populations are known to occur in reserves (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

There are no captive populations of this species, although the establishment of extra populations has been discussed, such as at Bush Heritage Yourka Station (Baker-Gabb & Sheppard 2007).