Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae

Fabaceae-Mimosoideae

Coastal Wattle

There are more than 900 species of Acacia Australia-wide, making them the largest group of flowering plants in Australia.

Description

This shrub grows 0.5-3 m high. It is very similar to the Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia) except that its trunk grows along the ground. The ‘leaves’ of this wattle - like other flat-leaved wattles - are really flattened, modified leaf stalks. Flowers are in golden-yellow cylindrical heads and appear July to September.

Where it is found

The Coastal Wattle occurs in heath and open forest on coastal headlands and adjacent alluvial flats. It is widespread in coastal districts of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

Uses

  • The seed pods are harvested while green, then steamed while. The protein-rich young seeds are then picked out and eaten.
  • The wood is white, hard and durable.
  • A liquid made from the bark was used for tanning skins and fishermen’s sails and nets (Maiden 1889).
  • This wattle is useful for sand stabilisation on beaches. It grows quickly, binding sand and fixing nitrogen with its roots, as well as providing shelter - making it a very useful plant to help re-establish native sand-dune plant communities.

Further information

Click here for further information on Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae.

Acacia sophorae
Protein-rich seeds of the Coastal Wattle (Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae) are eaten after steaming the green pod.

Acacia-sophorae
Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae: seed, seed pod, flowers and leaves, habit.