Acacia mariae (synonym: Acacia tindaleae)

Golden-top Wattle, Crowned Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

An erect or spreading shrub to 2 metres high, with smooth bark.

It is naturally found mostly in the central and western parts of New South Wales, to the south-western plains (north-west of Lake Cargelligo), as well as the central and northern western slopes and north-western plains, being fairly common in the Pilliga Scrub as well as close to Dubbo, growing in sand. It tends to be found in Eucalyptus–Callitris dry sclerophyll forest, woodland and mallee communities. There are some North Coast records as well.

It grows in dry sclerophyll woodland and shrubland, and mallee-shrublands on sandy soils.

Australian Wattles at least, can be broadly placed into 1 of 3 recognisable groups:

  • Group 1: Those that produce juvenile compound-bipinnate leaves and then change to producing adult-phyllodes which are modified-flattened petioles which form the foliage. This is combined with flowers produced in globular balls or heads (or ovoid heads). The heads can be singular in leaf/phyllode axils or arranged in groups.
  • Group 2: As for Group 1 but flowers are produced in longer rod-like spikes.
  • Group 3: Those that never produce phyllodes and retain the juvenile compound-bipinnate foliage into adulthood. These always produce flowers in globular balls (which are secondarily arranged into panicle or raceme-like groups in many cases).

This wattle belongs to Group 1.

Phyllodes (modified leaves) are sometimes whorled or clustered, to 1.3 cm long and to 0.2 cm wide. Flowers are produced in globular heads with up to 40 very small staminate flowers per head. The heads are produced solitarily in the axils of phyllodes, to 7 mm in diameter and bright yellow in colour.

Seed pods are straight and flat to 6 cm long and about 1 cm wide.

In the garden

Currently, cultivation information is hard to find. It may be more readily cultivated in the future.

It appears it will grow well in a dry situation on sandy soil.

Acacias can suffer from a number of pests, including borers, scale, galls and leaf miners. Growing plants suitable to your local environment minimises these occurring.


Propagation is easy from scarified seed by covering with boiling water for 24 hours and discarding any seeds still floating on the surface.

Other information

An attractive hybrid, Acacia mariae × A. semilunata, was found in a nursery and is now in cultivation as Acacia ‘Annan Gold’ at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.

Most wattle species will regenerate from the seedbank after fire.

Acacia is a highly diverse genus, with over 1500 recognised species (placing it in the top-10 most-diverse plant genera) occurring in most continents except for Europe. Australia has about 970 spp., most of which are endemic. There are also about 10 exotic species. NSW has about 235 recognised species. Some species have become weeds in other states outside of their natural range (e.g., wattles from Western Australia into NSW and vice versa).

Acacia – from Greek Akakia – which refers to an Ancient Greek preparation made from one of the many species; the name of which derives from akis, meaning “thorn” – referring to the thorns of species in Africa.

mariae / tindaleae – named initially by Leslie Pedley (1930–2018), an Australian botanist who specialised in the genus Acacia, in honour of Dr Mary D Tindale (1920–2011), another Australian botanist who made significant contributions to the systematics of Australian acacias and ferns. The former species name A. tindaleae is now under A. conferta as it was found that the type specimen is a variant of A. conferta. However, most specimens formerly identified as A. tindaleae are now re-named as A. mariae. To keep this honour, the renamed species epithet, A. mariae, still refers to “Mary” Tindale (named by Phillip Kodela and Gwen Harden).

This species is not known to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Acacia mariae profile page                https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Acacia~mariae

Atlas of Living Australia – Acacia mariae profile page

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia mariae profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_mariae.htm

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.