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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Caesalpinioideae
Tribus: Acacieae
Genus: Acacia
Species: Acacia desmondii

Acacia desmondii Maslin, 1987

Acacia nelsonii Maslin
Racosperma nelsonii Pedley

Native distribution areas:
Acacia desmondii

Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
Northern Territory

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Maslin, B.R., 1987. Nuytsia; Bulletin of the Western Australian Herbarium 6(1): 33 (1987), nom. nov.:.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Acacia desmondii in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Jul 31. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Acacia desmondii. Published online. Accessed: Jul 31 2019. 2019. Acacia desmondii. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 31 Jul 2019.
Hassler, M. Jul. Acacia desmondii. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. Jul. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: Jul 31 {{{3}}}. Reference page.

Vernacular names

Acacia desmondii, also known as Des Nelson wattle[3] is a shrub belonging to the genus Acacia and the subgenus Juliflorae that is native to central Australia. It is listed a vulnerable.[3]


The tree typically grows to a maximum height of 3 to 6 m (9.8 to 19.7 ft) and has a shrubby habit.[4] It grows to a width of 2 to 3 m (6 ft 7 in to 9 ft 10 in) and has a dense canopy.[5] It has fibrous grey coloured bark on the lower part of the trunk which becomes red-grey minni ritchi style bark further up and on the main branches. The terete and glabrous branchlets have obscure ridges. Like most species of Acacia it phyllodes rather than true leaves. The linear evergreen phyllodes taper towards the base and are infrequently curved towards the apex. The glabrous phyllodes have a length of 12 to 23 cm (4.7 to 9.1 in) and a width of 0.9 to 2.3 mm (0.035 to 0.091 in) flattened but still quite thick and uniformly finely striated with an obscure midnerve surrounded by many closely spaced longitudinal nerves. It blooms between July and November producing golden flowers. The cylindrical flower-spikes are situated on condensed axillary racemes and have a length of 1.5 to 3.5 cm (0.59 to 1.38 in) with light golden coloured flowers. The brittle and glabrous seed pods that form after flowering have a linear shape that is straight to slightly curved and are raised over and constricted between seeds with a length of 2.5 to 9 cm (0.98 to 3.54 in) and a width of 2 to 3.5 mm (0.079 to 0.138 in) and are longitudinally wrinkled. The shiny black seeds in the pods are arranged longitudinally and have an oblong-elliptic shpe with a length of 4 to 5 mm (0.16 to 0.20 in) with a pale halo and an open areole.[4]

The specific epithet honours Des Nelson, a botanist who lived in Alice Springs, and the first to collect the species in 1964.[3] This species was originally described as Acacia nelsonii by Maslin in 1980, however, the name had been previously used by William Safford in 1914 for a Mexican species.[6]

It is endemic to a small are among the plains and hills of the Rodinga Range, Train Hills and Pillar Range on Allambi Station and Todd River Station in the southern part of the Northern Territory to the south of Alice Springs where it is often situated along stony watercourses and in dry rocky gullies at the foot of the ranges and on rocky cliffs composed of sandstone.[4]
See also

List of Acacia species


"NT Flora factsheet: Acacia desmondii". NT Government.
"Acacia desmondii Maslin | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
"Des Nelson Wattle". Olive Pink Botanic Garden. 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
"Acacia desmondii". WorldWideWattle. Western Australian Herbarium. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
"Acacia desmondii". Alice Springs Town Council. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
Safford, W.E. (1914) J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 4: 363.

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