Acacia amoena

Boomerang Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia amoena is an erect to spreading shrub that reaches a height of 3 metres with a spread of several metres.

It has a patchy occurrence in NSW, growing on the northern tablelands between Gloucester and Glen Innes, then disjunctly further south in a rough area bounded by Dubbo – Sydney – Bungonia with scattered records. It can then be found south of Jindabyne on the southern tablelands (along the Barry Way through Kosciuszko National Park). It continues into Victoria in this region, in a small area east of Omeo.

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 may be up to seven centimetres long, about one centimetre wide with either two or three prominent glands along the phyllode margin. The thumbnail image shows a phyllode with two glands and possibly a third lurking near the base of the phyllode. The multiple glands are a distinctive feature and are used in the identification of the species.

Inflorescences are attractive, deep yellow to golden yellow in spring. Up to 12 very small staminate flowers are produced in globular heads to 5 mm in diameter. Heads are produced in racemes with up to 21 heads per raceme, emerging from the leaf (phyllode) axils.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

Although not well known in cultivation, this species has proved to be hardy and free flowering in our garden (near Armidale, NSW). It grows to about 2 metres here.

Pruning is recommended after flowering. Cut off each branch behind the spent flowers.

Acacia amoena could be grown together with other better known shrubby wattles, such as Acacia boormanii and Acacia cultriformis, to create a colourful, spring flowering hedge.

Acacia amoena, once established, has very low water requirements.


Propagate from seed and possibly cuttings.

Other information

Acacia amoena is known as the Boomerang Wattle this name probably refers to the shape of the phyllode but this name could apply to any number of species with similar phyllodes.

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.

amoena – Latin – “pleasant”, “delightful”, “lovely” – likely referring to the appearance of this species in flower.

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

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

VicFlora – Flora of Victoria Online – Acacia amoena profile page https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au/flora/taxon/d778ce83-6cc7-4d80-86ea-16e85819ff1e

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