Acacia asparagoides

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia asparagoides is a shrub to 2 metres tall.

It has a restricted distribution, occurring only in NSW, confined to the Blue Mountains, between Newnes Junction and Lawson. Here, it grows in dry sclerophyll forest and heath on sandstone. One specimen has been collected from the North Coast on the Boonoo Boonoo River (which likely requires more investigation).

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.

Phyllodes (modified leaves) sometimes clustered, linear, to 1.5 cm long and to 0.2 cm wide.

Flowers are produced in globular heads, to 6 mm in diameter, bright yellow, mainly with one head produced per leaf axil. Each head can contain up to 30 very small, staminate flowers. It flowers mainly in August–October, but also other times of the year.

Seed pods are shallowly to strongly curved, usually slightly constricted between seeds, to 5 cm long, and about 0.5 cm wide.

In the garden

Not a common plant in cultivation. Currently, not much is known about its cultivation potential.

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 regenerate from seed after fire.

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.

asparagoides – refers to the plant resembling some species of the genus Asparagus.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild but it has a restricted distribution.

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

Wikipedia – Acacia asparagoides profile page                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_asparagoides

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia asparagoides profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_asparagoides.htm

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.