Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Acacia oraria F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1879) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 11: 66. Type: Syntypes: Rockingham-Bay, Dallachy (MEL, BM); Trinity-Ba y, Bailey (BRI).

Common name

Coastal Wattle; Wattle


Dead bark layered. Inner blaze very fibrous and stringy. Usually encountered as a small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh. Often flowering and fruiting as a shrub.


Leaves green or slightly glaucous, phyllodineous. Leaf blades about 5-8 x 1.5-3.5 cm. A small gland usually visible on the upper side of the leaf blade-petiole junction. Veins longitudinal, reticulate, generally three more prominent than the rest. Younger leaves and twigs have a slight grey or silvery sheen.


Inflorescence usually a raceme of heads on peduncles about 4-7 mm long, heads about 30-40 flowered, covered with a white bloom when immature. Stalked nectaries with orange glands present at the base of each flower in the head. Calyx lobes fused to about the middle, oblong, obtuse, about 1-1.4 mm long. Corolla lobes rather narrow, fused to the middle, about 1.5-1.9 mm long, corolla about 1.5 times as long as the calyx. Stamens about 3-4 mm long. Ovary somewhat scurfy.


Pods twisted or coiled, about 12 x 0.9-1.5 cm, scurfy. Seeds black, longitudinally oriented in the pod, about 4 x 3 mm. Funicle red or reddish, thickened, passing completely around the seed and then folded back on itself and thickened to form an aril-like structure beneath the seed.


Cotyledons obovate, about 4-5 x 3-4 mm. First leaf pinnate, second leaf bipinnate. By the third or fourth leaf stage: leaves bipinnate, petiole expanded and flattened. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves phyllodineous, elliptic or narrowly elliptic to slightly falcate, apex obtuse, base cuneate, glabrous, usually three main parallel veins run from the base to the apex; glands present at the apex of the leaf blade and also at the base almost on the petiole; stipules very small, visible only with a lens. Seed germination time 9 to 303 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 500 m. This species is usually encountered along beaches, but also found in open forest and as a rheophyte along creeks. It occasionally grows on the margins of monsoon forest and dry rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia (Timor).

Acacia oraria F.Muell. var. oraria, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 819(1928). Acacia oraria var. typica Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 818(1928). Racosperma orarium (F.Muell.) Pedley, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 92 : 249(1986). Acacia oraria var. amblyphylla Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 819(1928), Type: Mischwalder bei Cairns, auf sandigen Boden (DOMIN XII. 1909).
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