Plant of the Month — February 2014
Acacia diastemata Maslin, M.D.Barrett & R.L.Barrett
Acacia diastemata is most closely related to A. scopulorum which occurs in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory. It is distinguished by its narrower phyllodes and less numerous longitudinal nerves. Both these taxa are related to the A. longifolia group, having 4-merous flowers with gamosepalous calyces, which are arranged in long, interrupted spikes.
A. diastemata is a Priority Three taxon originally listed under the name A. sp. Prince Regent River (R.L. & M.D. Barrett 3939). While known from a moderate number of populations scattered over a reasonably large area, none of the known populations is large. Studies on the sensitivity of this species to changes in fire regime are necessary to understand its risk status.
The specific epithet is the plural of the Greek diastema (an interval, space between), in allusion to the distinct spaces between the flowers and flower clusters, producing interrupted spikes. The suggested common name is “Sandstone Pavement Wattle”. A. diastemata was described by Bruce Maslin, Matthew Barrett and Russell Barrett in our journal Nuytsia, from which much of this text is transcribed. This paper includes detailed taxonomic of a further 12 newly described taxa from the north-western Kimberley area of Western Australia.
Photo: R. Barrett
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