Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Acacia cyclops
A. Cunn. ex G. Don, Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk; score: 15 (Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment for Acacia cyclops)

Other Latin names:  Acacia cyclopsis G. Don; Acacia eglandulosa DC.; Acacia mirbelii Dehnh.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: coastal wattle, cyclops acacia, one-eyed wattle, red eye, red-eye, red-eyed wattle, redwreath acacia, rookirans, rookirans acacia, western coastal wattle

Habit:  shrub/tree

Description:  "A. cyclops is a dense, evergreen, bushy shrub, often multi-stemmed. It can also grow as a small tree to 3-8 m tall, with a trunk of 20 cm in diameter and a rounded crown (NAS, 1980; Little, 1983). In windy coastal sites, it forms hedges less than 0.5 m high. A. cyclops has light-green foliage and simple flattened phyllodes (modified leafstalks), narrowly oblong, varnished when young, and growing in a downward vertical position. Phyllodes are 4-9 cm long and 0.5-1.3 cm broad, nearly straight; blunt with a short, hard point curved to one side, tapering to a long-pointed base; stiff and leathery, glabrous, with 3-7 main veins arising from the base, and 1 small gland on the upper edge at the base. Twigs are slender, angled and glabrous (NAS, 1980; Little, 1983). Flowers are lemon yellow, in clusters of two to three. Pods are narrowly oblong, 4-12 cm long and 0.8-1.2 cm broad, flattened, curved or twisted, greyish brown to dark brown and leathery. The pods are not shed but remain on the tree, exposing their seeds to predators and dispersers (NAS, 1980). Seeds are elliptical, flattened, 5 mm long, dark brown and encircled by a thick, red, thread-like oily stalk or funicle (Little, 1983)." (CABI datasheet for Acacia cyclops)

"A shrub or small tree usually growing 1-4 m tall, but occasionally reaching up to 7 m in height. It usually has a shorter more spreading habit when growing on coastal dunes, and a taller more upright habit when growing in inland areas." (Weeds of Australia)

(See also: Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 13; Weeds of Australia)

Habitat/ecology:  "In the native range, this shrub or small tree grows mainly in coastal heath or dry scrubland communities and rarely forms dense stands (Flora of Australia, 2014). ¶A. cyclops is found in arid and semi-arid subtropical areas with mean annual temperatures of 14-19C and an annual rainfall of 200-1400 mm tolerating very long dry seasons. It is slightly tolerant of frost (Little, 1983; NAS, 1980; Yantasath et al., 1993) and sensitive to waterlogging. It can live in areas with a uniform, bimodal or winter rainfall distribution in Australia, whereas it usually receives summer rainfall in Africa. A. cyclops grows well on calcareous sand or limestone and prefers well drained, sandy or quartzitic soils, but can survive on drier sites such as dune crests (NAS, 1980), on sodic or alkaline soils and those with impeded drainage. It is a lowland species, growing from sea level to 300 m altitude." (CABI datasheet for Acacia cyclops)

"A[cacia] cyclops is an extremely weedy species, although slow growing. Once established over large areas, it is difficult to remove or replace. Cronk and Fuller (1995) report that it forms dense impenetrable stands that shade out native vegetation and that fire promotes spread into natural vegetation. Henderson (2001) reports that it is invasive in South African forest gaps, dunes and along roadsides and watercourses. Binggeli (1999) classed A. cyclops as a highly invasive species. It is a category 2 declared invader in South Africa according to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Government of South Africa, 1983; Henderson, 2001). It is present in California, USA (USDA-NRCS, 2002) and Cronk and Fuller (1995) report that this species has is invasive there though this requires verification. It is also present in Portugal and is exhibiting invasive characteristics in Europe." (CABI datasheet for Acacia cyclops)

"In the native range, this tree grows in open scrub and rarely forms dense stands. Where invasive, it forms dense and impenetrable thickets that crowd out native vegetation; in South Africa, it forms a species poor dune scrub. Litter production is high, leading to increased soil nitrogen content. The tree reproduces by seeds which are dispersed by birds, ants and small mammals. Germination is enhanced after fire; the seedlings are intolerant of shade. The tree rarely resprouts after fire damage or felling." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 13)

"In its native environment this species grows mainly in coastal heath or dry scrubland communities, on sandy or loamy soils, in temperate regions. It has invaded these same habitats in other parts of Australia, and has also become a concern in the semi-arid inland regions of south-eastern South Australia." (Weeds of Australia)

Propagation:  "In Australia, flowering occurs during September to March and pods mature in January to February (NAS, 1980; Roughley, 1986). . . . A[cacia] cyclops reproduces from seed (NAS, 1980), rarely coppicing and mature trees do not survive felling. Seed germination is enhanced after fire." (CABI datasheet for Acacia cyclops)

"The tree reproduces by seeds which are dispersed by birds, ants and small mammals. Germination is enhanced after fire; the seedlings are intolerant of shade. The tree rarely resprouts after fire damage or felling." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 13)

"Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) reproduces via numerous long-lived seeds. These seeds are mainly dispersed by animals that consume them. Studies have demonstrated that birds, ants and small vertebrates (e.g. rodents) are all heavily involved in the spread of this species. It has also been found that the germination of western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) seeds is enhanced by passage through the gut of birds." (Weeds of Australia)

Native range:  "Native to the coastal districts of southern Western Australia and southern South Australia. It is widespread in coastal and near-coastal areas between Leeman on the western coast of Western Australia east to the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia." (Weeds of Australia)

"Historical evidence indicates that Acacia cyclops is native to the west coast of South Australia, west of Ceduna. There has also been debate about whether populations on Kangaroo Island and Yorke Peninsula are native or introduced, but it is considered that (even if there were originally small native populations in eastern South Australia) these would now be swamped by the naturalized (weedy) populations that are spreading rapidly in these areas. Thus, in South Australia the native range of A. cyclops is considered to be west of Ceduna. In other areas of the State it is considered to be a non-indigenous and invasive plant." (Clearance of Western Coastal Wattle)

Impacts and invaded habitats:  Invaded habitats: "Grassland, riparian habitats, coastal scrub and cliffs, coastal dunes." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 13)

"A[cacia] cyclops is an extremely weedy species, although slow growing. Once established over large areas, it is difficult to remove or replace. Cronk and Fuller (1995) report that it forms dense impenetrable stands that shade out native vegetation and that fire promotes spread into natural vegetation. Henderson (2001) reports that it is invasive in South African forest gaps, dunes and along roadsides and watercourses. Binggeli (1999) classed A. cyclops as a highly invasive species. It is a category 2 declared invader in South Africa according to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Government of South Africa, 1983; Henderson, 2001). It is present in California, USA (USDA-NRCS, 2002) and Cronk and Fuller (1995) report that this species has is invasive there though this requires verification. It is also present in Portugal and is exhibiting invasive characteristics in Europe." (CABI datasheet for Acacia cyclops)

"This species is one of several native acacias which are considered significant environmental weeds outside of their native range within Australia. Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) is regarded as a serious environmental weed in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Gulf St. Vincent area near Adelaide in south-eastern South Australia. It was introduced to this area through revegetation works and has also escaped garden plantings in this region. It is now a common coastal weed in the saltmarshes, coastal berms and tidal/freshwater wetlands in this region, and readily invades conservation parks and reserves. For example, it is one of several woody weeds infesting the Marino Conservation Park, an area specifically dedicated to the preservation of local biodiversity, situated within the southern suburbs of metropolitan Adelaide. It is fast becoming an out-of-control pest in the Lands End Restoration Area close to Cape Jervis at the bottom tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is also prominent in the Tingira Drive Reserve and is listed as a priority weed species in the Henley South and West Beach Dune Reserve, due to its propensity to form dense thickets that suppress indigenous vegetation through shading and competition for resources.

"Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops ) is not yet widely naturalised in Victoria, so far having been recorded in a few coastal districts. However, it is seen as a potential threat in this state because of its record of invasiveness and history of significant ecological impacts elsewhere.
"This species is particularly troublesome overseas in South Africa, where it is one of the most widespread alien invasive species in the coastal and lowland areas of the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces. Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) was introduced to this country as a dune stabiliser in the 1830's, and by 1975 it had spread to cover over 300,000 hectares of coastal lowlands, and had also moved inland where it formed thickets in sandy river valleys. In this country it typically forms dense thickets, which suppress the indigenous vegetation and reduce species diversity. The impact of this species has been so great, that significant resources have been invested in a biological control campaign to control this species in South Africa." (Weeds of Australia)

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Australia (offshore islands)
Kangaroo Island introduced
invasive
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"It may also be naturalised beyond its native range in other areas, such as...on parts of Kangaroo Island."
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Asia
Asia
Palestine introduced
invasive
Randall, R.P. (2007)
naturalised per GCW2007 ref #162
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) native
invasive
cultivated
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"Native to the coastal districts of southern Western Australia and southern South Australia. It is widespread in coastal and near-coastal areas between Leeman on the western coast of Western Australia east to the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia." "In Australia, western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops ) has been widely grown as a garden ornamental in the southern parts of the country. It has been employed as a stabiliser of coastal sand dunes...." "Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) is naturalised in some parts of south-eastern South Australia (e.g. in the Flinders Ranges and the Southern and Northern Mount Lofty Ranges regions). It may also be naturalised beyond its native range in other areas, such as on the Eyre Peninsula, the Yorke Peninsula, and on parts of Kangaroo Island. It is also naturalised in some parts of southern Victoria." "In its native environment this species grows mainly in coastal heath or dry scrubland communities, on sandy or loamy soils, in temperate regions. It has invaded these same habitats in other parts of Australia, and has also become a concern in the semi-arid inland regions of south-eastern South Australia."
Australia
Australia (continental)
Victoria (Australia) introduced
invasive
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"It is also naturalised in some parts of southern Victoria."
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
invasive
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"...in California (USA) it has been reported to invade riparian and wetland habitats." "Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) has also become naturalised in other parts of the world (i.e. in Europe, southern Africa, and California in south-western USA), and is particularly widespread in South Africa."
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Africa
Africa
Africa introduced
invasive
cultivated
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"It has been employed as a stabiliser of coastal sand dunes, and has also been put to this use in many other countries (particularly in northern and southern Africa). It is also grown overseas for its dense and high quality fuelwood." "Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) has also become naturalised in other parts of the world (i.e. in Europe, southern Africa, and California in south-western USA), and is particularly widespread in South Africa." "In South Africa it is also found along roadsides and waterways..."
Canary Islands
Canary Islands
Canary Islands introduced
invasive
Randall, R.P. (2007)
naturalised per GCW2007 ref #128
Europe
Europe
Europe introduced
invasive
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) has also become naturalised in other parts of the world (i.e. in Europe, southern Africa, and California in south-western USA), and is particularly widespread in South Africa."
Europe
Europe
Gibraltar introduced
invasive
Randall, R.P. (2007)
naturalised per GCW2007 ref#211
Europe
Europe
Portugal introduced
invasive
Randall, R.P. (2007)
naturalised per GCW2007 ref #106
Europe
Europe
Spain introduced
invasive
Randall, R.P. (2007)
weed per GCW2007 ref#268
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 2)
(C)ommon weed
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Randall, R.P. (2007)
noxious weed, weed, environmental weed, cultivation escape per GCW2007 ref #97 et al.
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) has also become naturalised in other parts of the world (i.e. in Europe, southern Africa, and California in south-western USA), and is particularly widespread in South Africa." "In South Africa it is also found along roadsides and waterways...."
United States of America
United States
United States introduced
invasive
Randall, R.P. (2007)
naturalised per GCW2007 ref #509
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
invasive
Queensland Government (year unknown)
"Western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) has also become naturalised in other parts of the world (i.e. in Europe, southern Africa, and California in south-western USA), and is particularly widespread in South Africa."

Comments:  (No presence of Acacia cyclops in the Pacific is noted in Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 13)

"In Australia, western coastal wattle (Acacia cyclops) has been widely grown as a garden ornamental in the southern parts of the country. It has been employed as a stabiliser of coastal sand dunes, and has also been put to this use in many other countries (particularly in northern and southern Africa). It is also grown overseas for its dense and high quality fuelwood." (Weeds of Australia)

Control:  "Mechanical control can be achieved by cutting stems close to the ground. Clearing and burning stands of the tree are used to reduce the soil seed bank." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 13)

In areas of South Australia where Acacia cyclops is considered non-native, the government-approved methods of removing this species include hand removal of small plants by pulling, and cutting larger plants with hand-held equipment, such as loppers or a chainsaw, and swabbing with herbicide; control is restricted to methods that do not result in excessive soil disturbance, as these are likely to damage other indigenous flora and induce prolific germination of A. cyclops.

When embarking on a control program for A. cyclops, land managers should also consider the following:

(adapted from Clearance of Western Coastal Wattle)

Chemicals recommended for treatment of Acacia species include a combination of picloram and tricolopyr, and triclopyr alone. Details of mixes and application rates are available from the Government of Western Australia.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 12 SEP 2017 and was last updated on 21 MAY 2018.