Acacias of Australia

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Acacia cochlearis (Labill.) H.L.Wendl.

Common Name

Rigid Wattle




Scattered along the coast of W.A. from Lancelin to Israelite Bay and from Eyre to SE of Madura; variants with significantly narrower than normal phyllodes extend inland from Katanning to near Clyde Hill, NE of Esperance.


Erect to sprawling shrub 0.5–3 m high. Branchlets ribbed, glabrous or sparsely appressed-puberulous with straight hairs. Stipules present only on young new shoots. Phyllodes sessile, patent to ascending, inequilateral basally, subulate-linear, narrowly elliptic or oblong-elliptic, straight to recurved, (1.5–) 2–5 (–6) cm long, (1.5–) 2–10 (15) mm wide, pungent, thinly coriaceous to subrigid, glabrous or subglabrous, with 3 or 4 distant plane to slightly raised main nerves; glands 1–3, the lowermost 5–20 mm above pulvinus. Inflorescences simple, 1–3 per axil; peduncles 3.5–8 (–12) mm long, rather stout, glabrous; heads globular, 4–5 mm diam., 30-50-flowered, deep golden. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free. Pods pendent, linear, ±raised over seeds, straight, to 4.5 cm long, 3–5 mm wide, coriaceous, appressed-puberulous, with longitudinal paler midline. Seeds longitudinal, oval, 3 mm long, dull, mottled; aril subapical, helmet-shaped.


The coastal populations grow on beach sands, sand dunes, often on calcareous substrates, in heath and scrub.


W.A.: 6.3 km W of Esperance towards Ravensthorpe, B.R.Maslin 2545 (MEL, NY, PERTH); 32.2 km S of Madura, A.A.Mitchell 36 (PERTH); Lancelin, F.G.Smith 1939 (PERTH); c. 5 km W of Esperance, shores of Pink Lake, J.Taylor & P.Ollerenshaw 1616 (PERTH); Young R., c. 20 km N of Esperance–Ravensthorpe road, P.G.Wilson 7915 (K, MEL, PERTH).


A member of the ‘A. latipes group’ and very closely related to A. latipes subsp. latipes but differing primarily in details of phyllode texture and venation. Specimens with narrow phyllodes are very similar to A. benthamii.

See R.S.Cowan & B.R.Maslin, Nuytsia 12: 462–465 (1999) for a discussion of relationships and variation within the species and of the relevant synonymy.

FOA Reference

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


Minor edits by B.R.Maslin & J.Reid