Acacia amblygona

Fan-leaved Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia amblygona is a small shrub reaching a maximum height of 1.5 metres.

It is found in coastal-hinterland and inland parts of New South Wales, north from Lake Cargelligo and Cessnock (closer to the coast), extending into southern and central parts of Queensland, as far north as Clermont. The species is common in the Pilliga Scrub, central NSW. In Western Australia, it is native to an area along the south coast near Ravensthorpe in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, where it grows in stony soil.

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.

All forms have dark green, rigid, almost triangular and prickly phyllodes.

Inflorescences (globular heads) are attractive, being golden yellow, to 7 mm diameter, produced in late winter to spring; each head having up to 18 very small, staminate flowers. Heads are produced singularly in leaf (phyllode) axils.

The seed pods are coiled or curved and constricted between the seeds. All forms are very showy particularly the prostrate form.

In the garden

A hardy wattle good for rockeries and to control erosion.

Prefers well drained soils in a sunny position and is spectacular in flower.

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

The prostrate form of A. amblygona (sometimes sold under the name ‘Winter Gold’) has been in cultivation for many years. It is a reasonably hardy ground cover which can spread to about 1-1.5 metres in diameter. and is very spectacular when in flower. The upright forms are rarely seen in cultivation.

Most wattles regenerate from seed after fire with some species exhibiting basal suckering.

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 (eg: 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.

amblygona – from Greek amblys (αμβλύς) meaning “blunt” and gonia (γωνία) meaning “angle” or “corner” – referring to the blunt-angled appearance of the phyllodes.

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

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

Western Australian Herbarium – Florabase – the Western Australian Flora – Acacia amblygona profile page https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/16895

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