Acacia calamifolia

Reed-leaf Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia calamifolia, the Reed-leaf Wattle, is a bushy, tall shrub reaching a height of four metres. The long, narrow phyllodes have a reed-like appearance (in fact the species name means reed-like leaves) and may reach a length of 20 centimetres with a hooked apex.

The flowers are held in globular heads that are profuse, conspicuous and golden yellow in colour. Our specimen carries some flowers for most of the year. We are fond of wattles that flower out of the usual spring flowering season. Such species, including Acacia calamifolia, bring a year-round spring feel to the garden.

Acacia calamifolia is found in western Victoria, central west NSW and South Australia. The seed, from this species, forms part of the diet of the rare Mallee Fowl.

In the garden

We first encountered Acacia calamifolia in an Armidale, NSW, garden many years ago and were impressed by the bounteous blooming of this wattle.

In our Cold Climate Garden, Acacia calamifolia survives and thrives in all seasons.

Propagation

Propagate from seed that needs hot water treatment before sowing.

Other information

Acacia calamifolia has an interesting botanical and horticultural history. The species was described and illustrated in a United Kingdom nursery publication in 1824. At this time the species was described as: “a NSW native that flowers during most of the year. Plants are elegant in appearance. Propagation is difficult from cuttings. In winter plants need to be protected in greenhouses.”

By Warren and Gloria Sheather