Acacia verniciflua A.Cunn.

Varnish Wattle

in B.Field, Geogr. Mem. New South Wales 344 (1825) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Viscid shrub 1–3(–4) m high; branchlets sometimes flexuose and/or pendulous, terete or slightly angled with thick yellow bands, glabrous, often viscid with a thick band of dark resin between yellow bands when young. Phyllodes variable, elliptic to narrowly elliptic, sometimes lanceolate, linear, or narrowly oblong to oblong oblanceolate, 2–9 cm long, 2–25 mm wide, thin, acute to obtuse, mucronate, often shiny, resinous-punctate, glabrous, rarely with minute appressed hairs on margins and veins; veins 2, rarely 1-veined, lateral veins absent or obscure; gland 0–2 mm above pulvinus. Peduncles 1–3 per axil, 3–15(–20) mm long, sometimes in 2–6-headed racemes with rachis to c. 3 mm long, glabrous or with sparse appressed hairs, basal bract early caducous or persistent; heads globular to slightly obloid, 30–60-flowered, bright lemon yellow to golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals united. Pods narrowly oblong to linear, 2.5–9 cm long, 3–6 mm wide, thinly coriaceous, glabrous, often shiny resinous or viscid when young; seeds longitudinal, obloid to obloid-ellipsoid, 3.5–5 mm long, shiny, dark brown to black, aril terminal. Flowers Aug.–Nov.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Widespread, mostly in dry, open-forest, sometimes in montane forest, often in sandy or rocky soil.

Previously this species has been arbitrarily distinguished from A. leprosa by the number of veins (the latter having only 1 main vein). However, this has shown to be an unreliable character, with both species now thought to have either one or two main veins (albeit phyllodes with 1 vein being rare for A. verniciflua). Following a revision of this group by Maslin & Murphy (2009), A. verniciflua is now distinguished from A. leprosa by the young branchlets having thick bands of dark resin between pale yellowish ribs (that are often only slightly raised), whereas A. leprosa typically has strongly angled or ribbed branchlets that are usually hairy on raised portions and have only a thin layer of resin in regions between. Five varieties are now recognised in A. leprosa (3 of which have phyllodes with 2 main veins) and 3 new species, A. exudans, A. rostriformis and A. stictophylla have been described to account for the variation observed in this widespread species complex (see notes under those species for more details).

Acacia verniciflua is highly variable, particularly in phyllode shape and size. However, few discrete morphotypes corresponding to geographic or ecological differences have been observed, and hence no infraspecific taxa are currently recognised. However, Maslin & Murphy (2009) identify 3 local variants: plants with a single main vein and strongly curved, narrow phyllodes near Seymour (previously regarded as A. leprosa (Seymour variant)); plants with wide phyllodes in the Warby Range; and plants with large bracteoles near Tooborac (see Maslin & Murphy 2009).

Source: Entwisle, T.J.; Maslin, B.R.; Cowan, R.S.; Court, A.B. (1996). Mimosaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Andre Messina, 2020-12-24
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Acacia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Acacia verniciflua in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Acacia verniciflua in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory