Acacias of Australia

Print Fact Sheet

Acacia cavealis R.S.Cowan & Maslin




Occurs 30 km inland from Zuytdorp Cliffs S to Watheroo, south-western W.A.


Sprawling shrub mostly 0.3–0.7 m high. Branchlets cobwebby-tomentulose with hairs embedded in resin, superficially glabrous. Stipules persistent, narrowly triangular to subulate, to 2.2 mm long. Phyllodes mostly patent to ascending, single or clustered in groups of 2 or 3 (–4) per node, linear, straight, flat to subterete, 1–3.5 cm long, 1–1.8 mm wide, pungent, rigid to subrigid, cobwebby-tomentulose between nerves with indumentum obscured by resin, 8-nerved in all, with 3 distant ±raised nerves per face when flat. Inflorescences simple, 2 per axil; peduncles 7–12 mm long, glabrous; heads globular, 3.5–5 mm diam., (9–) 12–18-flowered, golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods linear, not constricted between seeds, shallowly to moderately curved, biconvex, to 4.5 cm long, 3–3.5 mm wide, coriaceous to subwoody, very finely longitudinally nerved, red-brown to dark brown, minutely puberulous or glabrous, resinous; margins nerved. Seeds longitudinal, broadly elliptic, 2.5 mm long, dull, mottled brown and brownish grey; aril clavate.


Grows in sand in low open woodland with Banksia prionotes, scrub, shrubland and heath.


W.A.: Watheroo, L.Diels 2129 (PERTH); Eneabba area, B.R.Maslin s.n. (G, MEL, PERTH).


Appears most closely related to A. ridleyana which differs most obviously in its broader, normally shallowly sigmoid and hirsutellous to pubescent phyllodes (occasional glabrous or straight-phyllode variants occur in A. ridleyana). Superficially resembling A. auronitens and A. quadrisulcata. The first of these has phyllodes 4-nerved in all (1-nerved per face when flat), frequently spinose stipules, and crustaceous to woody pods with transverse seeds. The phyllode form of A. quadrisulcata and its longitudinally oriented seeds readily separate it from A. cavealis.

FOA Reference

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 11A (2001), 11B (2001) and 12 (1998), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia


R.S.Cowan, B.R.Maslin

Minor edits by J.Rogers