Interim recovery plan no.188
Gillian Stack and Gina Broun
Department of Conservation and Land Management
Western Australian Threatened Species and Communities Unit WA, October 2004
- Splendid Wattle (Acacia splendens ms) interim recovery plan 2004-2009 (PDF - 167 KB) | (RTF - 2.5 MB)
About the plan
Acacia splendens ms was declared as Rare Flora in July 1989, and is ranked as Critically Endangered (CR) under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List category Endangered (EN) under criteria B1ab(iii) + 2ab(iii) (IUCN 2000), as the two populations that have been recently confirmed have a geographic range of less than 20 km, and due to the extremely impoverished nature of the habitat at Population 1b, where the overwhelming majority of plants occur. A. splendens ms is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) under its previous taxonomic name Acacia sp. Dandaragan. Its previous common name is also listed under the EPBC Act as Dandaragan wattle, but this has been superseded by the name splendid wattle as a population is now known to occur outside the Dandaragan area. The main threats are degraded habitat, weeds, grazing and inappropriate fire.
Acacia splendens ms is a tall, spindly shrub to 4 m, or rarely a tree to 8 m, with one to four stems arising at ground level. These plants often spread by root suckers. The main stems have smooth light grey bark with a white bloom at first, which becomes rough and dark grey with age. Upper branches can be similar or smooth, and branchlets are thick and slightly angled. The phyllodes are bluish-green and are highly variable in size, shape and curvature, having juvenile, adolescent and adult forms. Juvenile phyllodes are a broad egg-shape, to 9 cm long and 6 cm wide, with a whitish bloom. Adult phyllodes are longer and narrower, to 12 cm long and 3 cm wide. The showy golden densely flowered heads are oblong to globular, up to 12 mm in diameter and are held towards the ends of branchlets. The purple-brown pods are flat but gently rounded over seeds, up to 11 cm long and 8-12 mm wide (Maslin and Elliott in prep.).
This species is closely related to Acacia microbotrya and A. daphnifolia, from which it differs in its pruinose branchlets and pods (the trunks are also smooth and white-pruinose, at least on young plants), more numerous flowers per head, broader phyllodes (especially the juvenile ones) and narrowly oblong pods. It is further distinguished from A. microbotrya by its golden-coloured heads and from A. daphnifolia by its smaller seeds (Maslin and Elliott in prep.).