Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Acacia axillaris
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Acacia axillaris (Midlands Acacia) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014cf) [Conservation Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (29/04/2014).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Acacia axillaris.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Flora Species Profiles - Acacia axillaris (Tasmania Regional Forest Agreement, 2001) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Threatened Species Listing Statement-Midlands Wattle, Acacia axillaris (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (TAS DIPWE), 1998) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Acacia axillaris (Midlands Mimosa, Midlands Wattle): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014fq) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list) as Acacia axillaris
Scientific name Acacia axillaris [13563]
Family Fabaceae:Fabales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Benth.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Hooker's London Journal of Botany 1: 341 (1842).
Other names Acacia riceana var. axillaris [33732]
Racosperma axillare [50039]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Other illustrations Google Images

The Midlands Mimosa is a dense, straggly, prickly shrub 2-4 m high with honey-perfumed pale yellow flowers (Simmons 1982; Orchard & Wilson 2001a).

The species is found in the lowland pastoral and agricultural region of the Midlands, in N and E Central Tas. and Mt Barrow in the subalpine/montane zone of NE Tas. (Simmons 1982; Lynch 1993; Lynch et al. 1999). The species is known to be extant at five localities, with an apparent altitudinal and geographic disjunction between the high-altitude stands at Mt Barrow and the stands in the Elizabeth, St Paul, Dukes and Lake River catchments (Lynch 1993; Barker & Johnson 1998; Lynch et al. 1999).

The stands on the Elizabeth and St Paul Rivers extend for over 10 km. On the Elizabeth R., the riparian community containing this species is virtually continuous whereas its extent has been fragmented by land-clearing on the St Paul R. (Lynch et al. 1999).

A 1996 census revealed 18 populations with a total of 47 000 ± 5000 mature individuals (Barker & Johnson 1998). Barker & Johnson (1998) listed a number of important locations and the estimated minimum population sizes: Dukes Marsh - 350, Royal George (St Pauls R.) - 100, Elizabeth R. (Devils Elbow to Chimney Hill) - 5000, Lake Leake Rd - 250, Big Den (Lake R.) - 35 000, Mt Barrow - 500. The Tas. RFA identified a large population of 41 000 plants on private property at Woods Ck (near Woods Lake, W of Campbell Town) (Tas. RFA 2001), it is possibly the same as the Big Den population.

Four sites on which this species occurs are public land; Dukes Marsh, Mt. Barrow, Scrubby Den Rivulet and Royal George (Johnson & Barker 1998). Plants previously recorded at Royal George were not relocated in a 1997 survey (Johnson & Barker 1998).

The lowland stands are in narrow and ineffective riparian reserves or on private land subject to clearing and grazing by stock (Lynch et al. 1999). The Elizabeth R., St Pauls R., Lake R. and Lake Leake Rd populations are on private property. Devils Elbow to Chimney Hill, on the Elizabeth R. and Big Den on the Lake R. support the largest and most continuous stands, but are subject to agriculture and forestry (Barker & Johnson 1998).

The species may have experienced a range contraction since the last glacial period. It appears to be a relict species now less adapted to Tasmanian environments (Lynch et al. 1999).

The species has a restricted and localised distribution, but occurs over a wide altitudinal and climatic range (Barker & Johnson 1998; Lynch et al. 1999). Lowland stands are 200-550 m asl, the Mt Barrow site is 1000-1400 m asl (Lynch et al. 1999).

There is a strong association with watercourses or soaks, although individual plants are not always restricted to the riparian zone, particularly at Mt Barrow (Barker & Johnson 1998; Johnson & Barker 1998; Lynch et al. 1999). Slopes are gentle and disturbance by flood usually frequent (Lynch et al. 1999). Plants may be found in boulder scree on slopes above the riparian zone (Simmons 1982; Barker & Johnson 1998; Johnson & Barker 1998). Most stands are on dolerite, although the species does occur on sedimentary rocks and alluvium (Lynch et al. 1999).

This species occurs in several plant communities, including Richea scoparia alpine heath, Leptospermum lanigerum scrub/forest, Eucalyptus rodwayi grassy woodland, E. ovata shrubby forest/woodland and Hakea microcarpa grassy shrubland. All except the first community are closely associated with moist, moderately well drained places near watercourses or soaks (Lynch et al. 1999). Johnson and Barker (1998) state that on Mt Barrow, the species is associated with rainforest species, however Lynch et al. (1998), did not mention rainforest communities in their summary.

There are relatively few plant species in common between the Mt Barrow stands and the lowland stands (Lynch et al. 1999).

The flowers are borne Sept.-Oct. (Simmons 1982; Orchard & Wilson 2001a). Fruits occur in Feb. (Orchard & Wilson 2001a).

The height classes of stands indicate a lack of continuous regeneration. The Mt Barrow stand contains many young individuals despite an obvious extended absence of fire. All other stands have relatively few young individuals. A pulse of regeneration is evident at Dukes R., apparently fire-related. There was no regeneration of the species in any experimental disturbance plots in the year following fencing and mattocking. Germination was not observed in a newly burnt area at Royal George, St Paul R., that previously contained the species (Lynch et al. 1999).

This species seems unusual amongst acacias, in that it does not appear to be dependent on fire for most of its regeneration, or particularly well adapted to it. Fire may kill all individuals and sexual or vegetative regeneration may not necessarily follow. However, the size class structure of stands strongly suggests pulse regeneration, and presumably these regeneration events are somehow fire related (Lynch et al. 1999).

Seed seems to lie dormant after pod dehiscence in mid summer, until two months of cold temperatures break the dormancy, and sufficient moisture and heat stimulate germination. In lowland areas, under such a scenario, it is suggested that mass germination would occur in spring, exhausting the soil seed bank until it is replenished mid-summer (Lynch et al. 1999). Seed output is generally low due to grazing and insect predation (Tas. RFA 2001). Light stock or marsupial grazing does not preclude all regeneration (Lynch et al. 1999). Individuals can resprout following damage (Tas. RFA 2001).

The association with watercourses suggests that flowing water may be a dispersal agent for the seed. Under these circumstances the maintenance of upstream stands would be vital (Johnson & Barker 1998).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Acacia axillaris in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006a) [Internet].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Acacia axillaris in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006a) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ulex europaeus (Gorse, Furze) Acacia axillaris in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006a) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Vegetation and habitat loss caused by dieback Phytophthora cinnamomi Acacia axillaris in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006a) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Acacia axillaris in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006a) [Internet].

Barker, P.C.J. & K.A. Johnson (1998). Recovery Plan - Selected Tasmanian Forest Associated Plants. Hobart, Tasmania: Tasmanian Forestry.

Johnson, K.A. & P.J.C. Barker (1998). Management Prescriptions for Threatened Species on Public Land. Hobart, Tasmania: Forestry Tasmania.

Lynch, A.J.J., L. Gilfedder & J.B. Kirkpatrick (1999). The Tasmanian Endemic Shrub Acacia axillaris: Conservation ecology applied to the question of rarity and vulberability. Australian Journal of Botany. 47:97-109.

Meredith, L.D. & M.M. Richardson (1990). Rare or Threatened Australian Plant Species in Cultivation in Australia. Report Series No. 15. Page(s) 1-114. Canberra: Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Orchard, A.E. & A.J.G. Wilson, eds. (2001a). Flora of Australia, Volume 11B, Mimosaceae, Acacia Part 2. In: Flora of Australia. Canberra, ACT: ABRS & CSIRO.

Simmons, M (1982). Acacias of Australia Vol 1. Melbourne, Vic; Thomas Nelson Aust.

Tasmania Regional Forest Agreement (2001). Flora Species Profiles - Acacia axillaris. [Online]. Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreements. Available from:

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Acacia axillaris in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:40:19 +1000.