Acacia aphylla

Leafless Rock Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia aphylla is a wiry, narrow spiky shrub, to 3 m high, it is endemic to Western Australia and it listed as threatened with extinction. It is found on sandy, gravelly and clay soils , growing in eucalypt woodlands. It is found in two general areas about 60 km apart, east of Perth, one in the Hidden Valley area on the Helena River and the other south of Northam in Clackline Nature reserve

This wattle does not have any leaves (phyllodes or bipinnate leaves)!

The shrub consists of contorted, curvy rigid branchlets which are terete (tubular) and ribbed. The end of the branchlets are sharp / pointed.

Flowers produced in globular heads, to about 8 mm in diameter, with up to 30 very small staminate flowers per head. The heads are produced singularly alon the branchlets. The flowers are bright yellow, very showy and produced in late winter to spring.

Seed pods straight, to 9 cm long and to 0.4 cm wide.

In the garden

Has a history of being cultivated and it is grown by some Sutherland members at least. It is a unique wattle to grow, in terms of its leafless foliage and twisted wiry branchlets. It has a very attractive complex structure. It is reported to be a quick growing plant and will last for several years at least. Plant in full sun or part sun, in a very well-drained sandy soil. It will be intolerant of damp areas and may not thrive in humid areas.

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

Most wattles will regenerate from seed after fire with some species exhibiting suckering from the base.

Acacia from Greek acis, meaning a thorn or “thorny”.
aphylla – Latin meaning a- (without) -phylla (leaves), referring to the species being leafless.

This species is listed as threatened under both Western Australian and Commonwealth legislation.



By Dan Clarke