Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Acacia pubescens

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney - August

Common name downy wattle, hairy-stemmed wattle
Scientific name Acacia pubescens (Vent.) R.Br.
Family  Fabaceae

Genus: Acacia - from Greek acacia, ace or acis, a point or thorn.

Species: pubescens - referring to the downy hairs

Distribution In NSW from Bilpin to Georges River and the Oakdale area.
Native habitat Grows in sclerophyll forest and woodland in clay soils.
Description 1.5 m high x 1.3 m wide, spreading to slightly weeping shrub; bark smooth, brownish grey; branchlets angled at apex becoming terete with ridges, hairy with long fine hairs. Leaves bipinnate, 1-2.5 cm long, green, hairy; pinnae 3-10 pairs, 1-1.5 cm long. Flower- heads globular, bright yellow, in dense racemes or clusters, hairy, pleasantly scented. Pods 5-7 cm x 0.4-0.6 cm, constricted between the seeds.
Flowering/fruiting Flowers August to November.

Location in Garden

Growing in bed 137. Click here for map of garden beds & grid.


Bed 137 in the Garden showcases many species of wattle.

Because this is a rare and endangered species it deserves to be grown much more in cultivation. It is restricted to remnant bushland on shale-derived soils and gravelly clay in western Sydney. Does not readily set seed, but suckers freely from the roots. This was one of the first Australian acacias cultivated in Europe, being grown at Malmaison near Paris in the garden of the Empress Josephine.

Grown in the USA where it is used as a cut flower.

A very ornamental species which will brighten any garden in mid winter.

Propagate from seed or suckers.

Will grow in full sun but prefers semi-shade. Appreciates water during dry periods.

Tolerant of frost.

Not known to be weedy.

Not presently available from the Growing Friends. 

Acacia-pubescens-Plant of the Month-Royal Botanic Garden