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Acacia pulchella

Acacia pulchella

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 pulchella
Varieties: A. p. var. glaberrima – A. p. var. goadbyi – A. p. var. pulchella – A. p. var. reflexa

Acacia pulchella R.Br., 1813

Acacia bispinosa Hereman
Acacia denudata var. spinosissima Meisn.
Acacia lanuginosa Regel
Acacia pulchella var. hirsuta Paxton
Acacia pulchella var. hispidula Meisn.
Acacia pulchella var. magna Paxton
Racosperma pulchellum (R.Br.) Pedley

Native distribution areas:
Acacia pulchella

Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
Western Australia
Introduced into:

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

Brown, R. in W. T. Aiton, 1813. Hortus Kewensis; or, a Catalogue of the Plants Cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew ed. 2, 5:464.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Acacia pulchella in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Aug 12. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Acacia pulchella. Published online. Accessed: Aug 12 2019. 2019. Acacia pulchella. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug 12.
Catalogue of Life: 2021 Annual Checklist
Acacia pulchella – Taxon details on World Wide Wattle.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Acacia pulchella in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: Prickly Moses

Acacia pulchella, commonly known as prickly moses[2] or western prickly moses,[3] is a shrub in the family Fabaceae. Endemic to Western Australia, it is one of the most common shrubs of the bushland around Perth and in the Darling Range.


The shrub typically grows to a height of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) that branches freely and has flexuose and spine tipped pale green branchlets and 1 mm (0.039 in) stipules. The leaves are composed of three to five pinnae.[3] Prickly moses is one of only a small number of Acacia species to have true leaves, rather than phyllodes. It has feathery, bipinnate leaves with leaflets up to 5 mm long. At the base of each leaf is one or two spines. It flowers in late winter and early spring. The rudimentary inflorescences occur in groups of one to three racemose spherical flower-heads with a diameter of about 1 cm (0.39 in) usually containing 10 to 40 but sometimes up to 60 golden coloured flowers. The crustaceous seed pods that form after flowering have a narrowly oblong shape and are flat or slightly undulate with a length of 1.5 to 5 cm (0.59 to 1.97 in) and a width of 3 to 5 mm (0.12 to 0.20 in). The brown seeds inside have a mostly oblong shape and are 2.5 to 4.5 mm (0.098 to 0.177 in) in length.[4] The name "prickly moses" is said to be a corruption of "prickly mimosa".

It was first described in 1813 by Robert Brown.[5][6]

The specific epithet is derived from Latin and names small and beautiful.[3] There are four recognised varieties:

A. p. var. glaberrima
A. p. var. goadbyi
A. p. var. pulchella
A. p. var. reflexa

It belongs to the A pulchella group of wattles along with Acacia amputata , Acacia epacantha , Acacia fagonioides , Acacia guinetii , Acacia lasiocarpa and Acacia megacephala.[4]

It is found in the Perth, Peel, South West, Great Southern and southern parts of the Wheatbelt and Mid West where it is commonly situated in swamps, low-lying areas and near creeks and rivers.[2] The range of the plant extends from around Geraldton in the north down to near Esperance in the east and to coastal areas in the west and south. Geraldton to Esperance. A single population has also been recorded in South Australia in Creek Conservation Park.[3]

Recent research suggests that A. pulchella may in some circumstances suppress the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi.[7]

This prickly shrub is useful as a screen to inhibit animal and human access to areas.[8]
See also

List of Acacia species


"Acacia pulchella R.Br". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
"Acacia pulchella". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
"Acacia pulchella". Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
"Acacia pulchella". World Wide Wattle. Western Australian Herbarium. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
"Acacia pulchella". Australian Plant Name Index, IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
Brown, R. (1813). Aiton, W.T. (ed.). "Polygamia monoecia". Hortus Kewensis (2 ed.). 5: 464.
Arunodini Jayasekera, Interactions between Phytophthora cinnamomi and Acacia pulchella: consequences on ecology and epidemiology of the pathogen, Murdoch University, Western Australia, PhD thesis 2006
"York gum species list". Toodyay Land Conservation District Committee. Archived from the original on 2014-01-25.

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