Acacia wardellii has been a focus of research for over 30 years by Myall Park Botanic Garden Ltd and Dr Nita C. Lester
Mr Dave Gordon collected the first Herbarium specimen of Acacia wardellii on 23rd January, 1953 from the Thomby Range SE of Surat. It was not named until 1971 after Dr Tindale was shown a plant by Mr V.A. Wardell on Rockwood Station SW of Chinchilla.
Dr Lester started surveys over 25 years ago throughout the Brigalow bioregion to locate colonies of Acacia wardellii. A number of field trips enabled data to be collected and recorded.
Dr Lester propagated a number of specimens which were distributed to landholders in the surrounding regions to grow in their gardens. This was to encourage an understanding of this species so landholders and their employees would be more likely to notice whether Acacia wardellii was growing on their properties or along the road verges.
Sandra Hughes of Myall Park Botanic Garden propagated numerous specimens which given as gifts at a Garden Open Day. All participants were encouraged to record details of their plant’s growth and survival. Specimens were successfully grown from Tenterfield in NSW to north of Bundaberg.
Recently, Origin Energy has requested the propagation of this species for revegetation of their exploration sites as an offset species in the Chinchilla region. Further research will be conducted with relation to this work.
Brief description: It is native to the Thomby Range south-east of Surat, south west of Roma, south and south-west of Chinchilla. Land clearing has reduced numbers although efforts have been made lately to preserve its habitat.
It is an attractive small tree to 4m with a white trunk that turns silver-grey with age. It is not long lasting [up to 5 years] as it is very tasty to borers however seedlings can be propagated to maintain it in the garden. In the wild, it grows on shallow weathered sandstone in eucalypt woodland.
What look like leaves are really flattened stems termed phyllodes. These are broad, curved and a bright green with usually two parallel veins [sometimes three] down their length. The leaf margins are sometimes toothed [1-3 glands on the upper margin]. The soft yellow flower balls occur in early winter and are followed by narrow, short, hairy pods enclosing black seeds. These are released very quickly once matured. Viability varies. Some seasons produce fertile seeds, whilst in other seasons fertility is very low.
Acacia wardellii prefers full sunlight but is often observed as an understorey plant.