Acacia mearnsii De Wild.

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Acacia mearnsii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Misty Manor Hotel Site, Vumba

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Common names: Black wattle (English)
Frequency: Locally abundant in the E Highlands
Status: Introduced
Unarmed shrub or small tree, to 15 m. Leaves: rhachis bearing glands on upper side, not only at the junction of each pair of pinnae but at other points as well. Leaves with c.12-20 pairs of pinnae; leaflets to 4 mm, numerous. Flowers pale yellow. Pods beaded, with 3-12 segments.
Notes: A very fast growing species, flowering and producing large amounts of seeds within a year. The germination of the seeds is stimulated by fires. It is very similar to A. dealbata, another Australian invader, which lacks the glands between the top pairs of pinnae. The leaves of A. dealbata are grey-green, giving the trees a much lighter appearance than A. mearnsii. When in flower, the two species are more easily separated as the flowers of A. dealbata are bright yellow, while those of A. mearnsii are very pale yellow or cream. Also see A. melanoxylon for comparison.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: An aggressive invader of grasslands and forest margins in high rainfall areas of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Altitude range: (metres) Above 1200 m
Flowering time:Sep
Worldwide distribution: Native of Australia; naturalised in southern Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Chiasmia simplicilinea (Food plant)
Ericeia inangulata (Larval food plant)
Pseudoradiarctia scita (Larval food plant)
Achaea catella (Larval food plant)
Heniocha apollonia (Larval foodplant)
Gynanisa maja (Larval foodplant)
Catalebeda cuneilinea (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Monday 17 October 2005

Biegel, H.M. (1977). Check-list of ornamental plants used in Rhodesian parks and gardens. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal. Research Report No. 3. Page 17.

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Pages 111 - 112.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 210. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 2.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 151.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 214.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 241.

Henderson, L. (2001). Alien weeds and invasive plants Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa. Page 222. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 156 - 157. (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J., Fagg, C. & Barnes, R. (1999). Field Guide to the Acacias of Zimbabwe CBC Publishing, Harare Pages 140 - 141. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Acacia mearnsii:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Acacia mearnsii
Flora of Malawi: Acacia mearnsii
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Acacia mearnsii
Flora of Mozambique: Acacia mearnsii
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Acacia mearnsii
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Acacia mearnsii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Acacia mearnsii
African Plant Database: Acacia mearnsii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Acacia mearnsii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acacia mearnsii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Acacia mearnsii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Acacia mearnsii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acacia mearnsii
JSTOR Plant Science: Acacia mearnsii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Acacia mearnsii
Plants of the World Online: Acacia mearnsii
Tropicos: Acacia mearnsii
Wikipedia: Acacia mearnsii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Acacia mearnsii., retrieved 24 September 2023

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