Acacia prominens

Gosford Wattle, Golden Rain Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia prominens is known the Gosford Wattle or Golden Rain Wattle.

The Gosford Wattle is a dense, tall shrub or medium tree, potentially reaching 20 metres tall with a wide spread.

Acacia prominens is found mainly on the Central Coast subdivision of NSW but extends slightly into the  Central Tablelands, North Coast and Central West Slopes of NSW. It extends as far north at towards Merriwa and as far south as Wollongong. Other records outside this range are likely naturalisations, especially in Victoria and Western Australia, from planting. One of the strongholds of the species is the Gosford area, north of Sydney, hence the common name.

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.

The phyllodes are up to four centimetres long, blue-green with a conspicuous gland on the upper margin (see thumbnail image) about one third from the left. Foliage is often retained to ground level.

The flower heads are globular, made up of up to 15 very small staminate flowers and borne in dense racemes near the ends of branchlets. They are sweetly scented, lemon-yellow and very conspicuous when they make their appearance in spring. T

The pods, that follow the flowers, are flat and sometimes have a slight pink or blue colouring, to 10 cm long.

In the garden

Can be grown in a garden successfully. It is hardy and establishes well. It can naturalise outside its natural range – so please monitor it if planted in a garden close to bushland.

It flowers very beautifully. It does like higher moisture compared to other wattles along with a free-draining soil.

Can be pruned when small to create a denser shrub.


Propagate from seed (pre-treated in boling water or scarified) or cuttings.

Other information

Acacia prominens was first cultivated in England in the early 1800’s. Apparently seed was taken to England and additional plants were propagated from cuttings. It would seem that many Acacias, grown in England at this time, were propagated from cuttings.

Most wattles will die in a fire and regenerate from seed. Some species exhibit suckering from basal parts and roots.

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.

prominens – Latin – refers to the prominent glands on the phyllodes, located on the margin, up to 20 mm from the phyllode base.

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

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

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia prominens fact sheets https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_prominens.htm

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.