Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. cochlocarpa

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General Plant Info

Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. cochlocarpa, also called "Spiral Fruited Wattle", is a sprawling, low growing, glabrous shrub to 70 cm tall and up to 3 m wide, with slightly flexuose branchlets.

Size class structure, levels of canopy death and an absence of juveniles indicate that all populations are in decline. All populations were capable of producing viable seed but seed production varied considerably between years and populations (Buist et al. 2002).

Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. cochlocarpa, was declared as Rare Flora in November 1997 under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and was ranked as Critically Endangered (CR) in November 1998 under World Conservation Union (IUCN 1994) Red List criterion B1+2c.

There are only 135 mature plants known in three wild populations (one extinct, one in decline and one moderately healthy). All populations are affected by fragmentation and continuing degradation of habitat. A further 535 plants are known from two translocated populations in a Nature Reserve. Since 1998, it has been planted and established successfully in disused gravel pits in a nature reserve near Watheroo (Stack & English 1999a; Monks & Coates 2002)

Geographic distribution

Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. cochlocarpa is restricted to Watheroo with an early collection West of Moora, W.A. It is known from a narrow 700 m length of highly disturbed road reserve and private property near Watheroo in the Moora Shire.

Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Geraldton Sandplains.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Lesueur Sandplain.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Coorow, Dowerin, Goomalling, Moora, Pingelly.


Phyllodes are incurved and erect,(3- ) 4–7.5 cm long, 4–6 mm wide, with acute apex, glabrous, 5–7-nerved with central nerve equidistant from margins. They are linear to narrowly elliptic.

Stipules caducous.

Inflorescence golden flower-heads are obloid to short-cylindrical, 7- 10 mm long (dry); bracteoles obovate, 0.7–0.8 mm long, obtuse. Flowers are borne June-Aug (Maslin & Chapman 1999; Stack & English 1999a; Orchard & Wilson 2001a).

Pods are glabrous and tightly coiled, up to 4 mm wide. Mature pods have been collected in Nov. and Dec. (Maslin & Chapman 1999). Low fruit production has been observed due to predation and insect galling of the flower.

Alkaloid content


Other uses


Grows in brown sand or clayey sand with laterite. Survives in disturbed roadside situations.

Plants occur as two close populations in disturbed open low scrub on road reserve and on private property. The subspecies grows in association with Hakea scoparia, Allocasuarina campestris, and a number of other Acacia species.

Studies indicate that seeds are patchily distributed in the soil and that germinations is increased by scarification or exposure to heat. It has been demonstrated that experimental fires can break seed dormancy and promote germination (Buist et al. 2002).


Seed has been collected from all populations and placed in long term storage at DEC’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC)