Nature conservation

Threatened species

Purple-wood Wattle - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Acacia carneorum
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 18 Oct 2022


The Purple-wood Wattle (formerly Acacia carnei) is a dark green and prickly shrub to small tree, 2 - 4 m tall. Plants have a striking, deep-purple heartwood. The phyllodes (wattle leave) are rigid and needle-like, sharply pointed, four-angled and are 2 - 6.5 cm long and 1 - 3 mm wide. Flower-heads are spherical, golden-yellow in colour and are on hairy stalks 12 - 25 mm long. The pods are hard and woody with a short white downiness, straight to strongly curved and are slightly constricted between seeds. The pods are 3 - 5 cm long and 10 mm wide.


Occurs in the far western plains, south from west of Tibooburra to the Menindee area. Also has a limited distribution in SA.

Habitat and ecology

  • Grows in grassland and woodland in red, sandy soil; also found in Mulga communities on sand dunes, level sandy sites and alluvial accumulations along watercourses; recorded from inland semi-arid Acacia and Casuarina shrublands and woodlands.
  • Preferred soils are shallow, calcareous and loamy, and include brown earths, crusty alkaline soils and neutral red duplex soils; confined to red-earth dune soils in Kinchega NP as a dominant or occasionally co-dominant, usually on dune crests or slopes.
  • Associated species include Alectryon oleifolius, Casuarina cristata, C. pauper, Maireana pyramidata, Eucalyptus socialis and Enchyleana tomentosa.
  • A long-lived perennial that flowers at any time of year; rarely sets seed but produces new suckers, independent of root disturbance, either annually or biannually in two growth pulses in autumn and spring (during average or above average rainfall years).
  • Tends to occur in colonies of 20 to 60 plants, which are clonal; seed viability is generally low and the majority of seeds are non-dormant when released from the pods, which remain on the parent plant for several years after dehiscence.
  • Observed as common in gregarious groupings on sandhills and ridges; populations in Kinchega NP grow in tall shrublands, comprising a mixture of ramets from a limited number of genetically distinct individuals, with isolated populations likely to be genetically distinct.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexMootwingee Downs Predicted None
Broken Hill ComplexScopes Range Known None
Channel CountryBulloo Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Dunefields Known None
Channel CountryCentral Depression Predicted None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Known None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Known None
Mulga LandsUrisino Sandplains Predicted None
Mulga LandsWhite Cliffs Plateau Predicted None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Known None