Acacia longifolia ssp. Sophora
Coastal Watte is a common naturally occurring wattle within Centennial Parklands and is very conspicuous when flowering (mid-winter through to midspring) when it is covered with golden flowers.
It is naturally found in coastal south-eastern Australia from Queensland through New South Wales and Victoria into South Australia. Outside of its natural range, it is introduced into the southern tablelands of New South Wales, some areas of Western Australia and also in South Africa.
Coastal Wattle is a spreading shrub with lower branches which are often prostrate (ground hugging), growing from 0.5-3 metres high and usually much broader than tall. The small flowers are grouped in cylindrical spikes. Like many Australian wattles the ‘leaves’ are actually highly modified leaf stalks (petioles) called phyllodes.
Coastal Wattle is found on sandy soils in coastal areas, especially in beach dunes but also in heath and woodlands. It is a dominant plant on relatively undisturbed or rehabilitated beach dunes, but often suffers from competition with Bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a weed from South Africa originally introduced to stabilise soils on beach dunes.
Where can the Coastal Wattle be seen in the Parklands?
Although also widely planted, it occurs naturally in Centennial Park, Queens Park, and especially in the York Road remnant. It provides ideal hiding places for small birds such as Superb Fairywrens.
Good places to see naturally occurring Coastal Wattle in Centennial Park is near the footbridge over Kensington Pond towards Alison Road, and also on the edges of growth adjacent to the streams around the Mission Fields, below Busbys Pond.