Seeds of South Australia
Acacia rhetinocarpa (Leguminosae)
Neat Wattle
List of species for Acacia
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Seed collecting:
November to January
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Tintinara (NCP04)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [several shrubs, needs more survey work - M O'Leary]
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   [some reveg in Monarto CP]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN A2a)   (Probable Decline)   [less than 100km2 EoO. Increasing due to planting by Aust Plant Society & TPAG]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); C1)   (Probable Decline)   [highly localised]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Acacia]
Name derivation:
Acacia from the Greek 'akakia' and derived from 'ake' or 'akis' meaning a sharp point or thorn and 'akazo' meaning to sharpen. Dioscorides, the Greek physician and botanist used the word in the 1st century AD for the Egyptian thorn tree, Acacia arabica. Rhetinocarpa from the Greek 'rhetine' meaning resin or gum and 'karpos' meaning fruit, referring to the resinous nature of the legume.
Endemic to South Australia and found scattered in a few small areas near the east coast of Eyre Peninsula, east coast of Yorke Peninsula, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and in the Murray region, restricted to the Monarto area; growing in open scrub vegetation associated with Eucalyptus gracilis, E. socialis and E. incrassata on calcareous sand and loamy soil.
Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Erect, compact, rounded, resinous, spreading shrubs to 1.5 m high with hairy branchlets, light yellowish-brown but becoming dark grey towards the base. Leaves obliquely obovate to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide; flat, thick, erect, yellowish-green, resinous. Inflorescences simple and axillary, with solitary globular, bright yellow flower-heads. Flowering between August and October.
Fruit type:
Long straight or curved brown pod to 3.5 cm long and 2.5 mm wide.
Seed type:
Dark brown to black, hard oblong to elliptical seed to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods that are turning brown, with hard, dark seeds inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for 1-2 weeks or until the pods begin to split. Then rub the dried pods to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From four collections, the seed viability was average to high, ranging from 65% to 100%.
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA3250 (30.9 g)626-Dec-2005TJ1
Yorke Peninsula
2950 (27.64 g)
2950 (27.64 g)
BGA5170 (51.73 g)626-Dec-2005TJ2
Yorke Peninsula
BGA600 (3.98 g)2016-Dec-2005PJA114
Southern Lofty
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-1787%2135 seed coat nicked with scalpel;
potting mix;
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)