Acacia iteaphylla, Flinders Range Wattle
Acacia iteaphylla, the Flinders Range Wattle, is a native of South Australia and comes in several forms. There is a dwarf form and others that are either medium to tall shrubs with upright growth habit or pendulous branches.
Phyllodes are about ten centimetres long, less than one centimetre wide, blue-green and ending in a soft point. Juvenile growth has a pink colour. The globular yellow flower heads are carried in axillary racemes. The racemes are enclosed in large, brown, imbricate (overlapping as roof tiles) bracts. They fall away before flowering (see photo). Acacia suaveolens has similar bracts.
Flowering is said to extend from March to September. In our cold climate garden flowering usually starts in mid February, through autumn, winter and extending into early spring.
Acacia iteaphylla is confined to southern areas of South Australia, from the Eyre Peninsula to the southern part of the Flinders Ranges.
This colourful, long-flowering wattle brings a spring feel our garden during the chilly winter months when flowers are a trifle scarce. The majority of our specimens have pendulous branches with a few upright plants. In our garden this species has proved to be very hardy, with low water requirements when established and free flowering. We remember seeing the dwarf form growing as a low hedge in front of the Broken Hill Tourist Centre some years ago.
Propagate from seed treated with boiling water or cuttings.
The type specimen was collected by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller in the late 1840’s or early 1850’s from Arkaba Station near Hawker in the southern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. This was during a time when the Baron lived in South Australia before becoming Victoria’s Government Botanist in 1853.
The species name means having willow-like leaves.
Warren and Gloria Sheather