Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Acacia macradenia

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - August

Common name zig-zag wattle
Scientific name Acacia macradenia
Family  Fabaceae - Mimosoideae

Genus: From Greek, akakia, the name of A. arabica of tropical Africa and Western Asia (from akis, a sharp point, as this is a spiny species).

Species: From Greek, macros, large, referring to the large elongated gland on the phyllode margin.

Distribution Widespread in inland districts of southern and central Queensland.
Native habitat Grows in stony and sandy soil, often near creeks, in woodland or sometimes vine thicket.

A spreading shrub or small tree 3-5 m x 3-4 m with pendulous zig zagging angular branches and bright yellow ball flowers. New growth is often reddish.

Flowering/fruiting Flowers occur in winter and spring and are followed by clusters of dark brown, smooth pods.

Location in Garden

Can be found in many beds in the Wattle Garden.


This highly ornamental species is now regarded as an emerging environmental weed in south-eastern Queensland. It has been widely cultivated in gardens in the coastal parts of this region because of its unusual architecture and striking floral displays. It is also commonly planted along roadsides and in amenity areas, because it is 'native' to Queensland. However, it is not native to this part of the state and has spread from such plantings, particularly in the Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast areas.

Prefers a well-drained situation, preferably in full sun. It is fairly frost tolerant, but severe winters can kill it. Because of its weed-risk, it is best not to grow this species near bushland.

Available from native nurseries or can be ordered on-line.