Acacias of Australia

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Acacia coatesii Maslin

Common Name

Coates’ Cushion Wattle




Known only from a single population S of Coolgardie, goldfields region of W.A.


Low-domed, intricately branched, compact, rigid, generally glabrous sub-shrub 20–40 cm tall, forming hemispherical cushions. Branches dividing into many short, straight, rigid, ascending to erect, spinose branchlets. Stipules caducous or sub-persistent, not pungent. Phyllodes patent to erect, normally straight, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic or oblong-elliptic, 6–15 mm long, (1–) 1.5–3 mm wide, pungent to sub-pungent by slender straight cusp 1–2 mm long, sub-glaucous to dull green; prominently 1-nerved; adaxial margin 2-nerved below the gland and 1-nerved above the gland; pulvinus 0.5–1 mm long; gland 1–2 mm above pulvinus, sometimes absent. Inflorescences simple or vestigial binate racemes; peduncles 3–4 (–6) mm long, often shallowly recurved in fruit; basal bract brown, caducous, cucullate; heads showy, globular, 3–4 mm diam., 8–9-flowered, bright golden; bracteoles spathulate, c. 1 mm long, brown. Calyx absent or reduced to a single, linear, short, membranous sepal; petals 5, 1–1.2 mm long, glabrous, nerveless. Pods (immature) oblong, 10–15 mm long, 3–4 mm wide, ±straight, flat, not constricted between seeds; margins thickened, yellow. Seeds (immature) oblique.


Flowers: Sept.–Oct.


Grows in shallow, red sandy clay on flat or gently sloping ground towards the base of a low greenstone ridge in open woodland dominated by Eucalyptus spp. over open shrubland.


Related to A. intricata which is distinguished by its sessile, thicker and normally shorter phyllodes and narrower, curved to openly once-coiled pods with longitudinal seeds.


Acacia coatesii is listed as Priority One under Department of Parks and Wildlife Conservation Codes for Western Australian Flora.


B.R. Maslin