Tangle Wattle (Acacia Volubilis) Interim Recovery Plan 2003-2008
Anne Harris and Andrew Brown
Interim Recovery Plan No: 158
Department of Conservation and Land Management, October 2003
About the document
Acacia volubilis was described in 1877 by F. von Mueller from a specimen collected from 'Boxvale' by Julia Wells. The precise location of the collection is not known however, according to Erickson (1988) 'Boxvale' was the name of a property owned by John R.F. Wells and may have been an earlier name for a property known as 'Coraling', located about 12 km southeast of Quairading. The species was subsequently confused with Acacia cummingiana and A. carens and it was not until 1990 that it was again recognised as distinct.
As no extant populations were known, the species was listed as Presumed Extinct until rediscovered in June 1996 by former CALM botanist Brendan Lepschi. Surveys undertaken in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001 resulted in the discovery of a further ten populations and four subpopulations, including two on private property. The largest populations contain 36 and 22 plants respectively while the remaining ten populations and three subpopulations contain between one and six plants each. Most of these populations occur in highly degraded habitat. A total of 88 live plants are currently known.
The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) has provided relevant land managers with information on the locations of populations and DRF markers have been installed along roadsides where required. However, damage to several populations during road maintenance and fence construction was documented in 1998 and 2001. Weed control, grazing, rabbit digging, and inappropriate fire regimes also impact on populations of Acacia volubilis and its habitat.
A draft Interim Recovery Plan (IRP) was written for the species in 1998 (Evans and Brown 1998). Information from that draft and additional information collected since then has been incorporated into this Interim Recovery Plan.
The specific epithet volubilis means twining, referring to the tangled, twining habit of the plant (Mueller 2001).
Acacia volubilis is a small dome-shaped shrub 40 cm high by up to 1 m wide. It has twisted branchlets with parallel ridges running their length. The phyllodes (flattened leaf stalks that resemble leaves) are widely separated, are 9 mm long and 1 mm wide and resemble the branchlets in shape. They are pentagonal-terete and are straight or only shallowly curved. The circular gland situated on the upper margin of the phyllode between the two adaxial nerves is not prominent. Bright yellow globular inflorescences are borne during June and July.