Bolivia 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 pycnostachya
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 14 Nov 2018


Bolivia Wattle is a shrub or small tree, between 1 and 10 m tall. The grey-green leaves are very firm and somewhat curved (almost sickle-shaped). They are 7 - 10 cm long by 1 - 2.5 cm wide. The species is characterised by the very coarse, sharply ridged but flattened branchlets. Bark is finely fissured and light brownish grey. Deep yellow flowers are borne on a 2 - 5 cm long spike and occur in spring. A brown, leathery pod, 8 - 12 cm long and 3 - 4 mm wide contains the seeds.


Restricted to NSW. Two extensive populations exist in the vicinity of Bolivia Hills and Bluff River Nature Reserves south of Tenterfield, and on nearby private land. Smaller populations have been found on private land in other areas and the species may be more widespread than is currently documented. The plant tends to occur in patches although sparsely distributed individuals are common at Bolivia Hill.

Habitat and ecology

  • Flowers in spring or from July to October. Fruits are borne October to November. The species may not tolerate too-frequent fire (more often than 15-20 years), which may kill adult plants before the soil seed bank is adequate to provide recruitment.
  • Acacia pycnostachya typically grows in dry sclerophyll forest amongst granite outcrops, on hillsides at altitudes of 700 to 900 m. Soil types range from acid volanics to sandy and skeletal on exposed outcrops, to shallow sandy loams in less exposed sites. It often grows in stands in areas sheltered from fire.
  • Generally plants appear to dominate the understorey or tall shrub stratum below an open canopy of taller shrubs or trees. Dense stands are common.
  • Associated species include Eucalyptus prava, Eucalyptus andrewsii, Callitris endlicheri, Acacia adunca, Eucalyptus campanulata, Leptospermum brevipes, Acacia neriifolia, Stypandra glauca, Notelaea microcarpa and Callitris species.
  • Multiple sub-populations of Acacia pycnostachya located at Bolivia Hill comprise well over 10,000 plants. The population in the Back Creek area north-west of Tenterfield was estimated at 200 to 500 plants, as is a recently discovered population at Anketell. Together with Bluff Rock, which exists as a metapopulation, the total estimated abundance is 40,000 individuals spread over a wide area.

Regional distribution and habitat

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
New England TablelandsTenterfield Plateau Known None