Acacia cardiophylla

Wyalong Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia cardiophylla is widely known as the Wyalong Wattle and is said to grow to a height of four metres. The plants in our cold climate garden, reach a height of two metres with a similar spread.

Acacia cardiophylla is found on the western slopes of NSW from near Dubbo to the West Wyalong area.

It grows in dry sclerophyll woodlands and mallee woodlands on red sands and rocky soils.

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).

It is thought that Groups 1 and 2 are more highly evolved than Group 3.

This species is of Group 3. The bipinnate foliage is soft and greyish-green.

Golden yellow flowers are carried in globular heads with 20-30 blooms in each head. The heads are arranged further into axillary or terminal clusters. Flowering occurs in spring when blooms are both conspicuous and profuse. The attractive foliage complements the flowers. Prune after flowering to prevent plants becoming untidy.

The fruit is a pod – straight to slightly-curved, to 120 mm long and 6 mm wide.

In the garden

Wyalong Wattle would be an eye-catching addition to hedges and screens. Also three plants grown close together create an interesting “stand alone” specimen thicket in a lawn.

We find that the Wyalong Wattle survives and thrives on our well-drained hill in the Armidale area.

Acacia cardiophylla has both attractive foliage and flowers.

Frosts are not a problem and once established the species has low water requirements.


Propagate from seed that should be soaked in hot water before sowing.

Other information

There is also a prostrate cultivar known as Acacia cardiophylla “Gold Lace”.

The type specimen was collected in the interior of NSW, north of the Macquarie River by Alan Cunningham in the 1840’s.

Most wattles will die after a fire and regenerate from seed. Some species can sucker from basal parts.

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 (e.g., 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.

cardiophylla – Greek – kardia (καρδιά) – meaning “heart” and –phylla meaning “leaves” referring to the heart-shaped or circular leaflets (in some plants).

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

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

Gardening with Angus – Acacia cardiophylla profile page    https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/acacia-cardiophylla-wyalong-wattle/

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.


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