Acacia cheelii is a small tree with flaky bark inclined to be ribbony. The long phyllodes are up to 16 centimetres long by three centimetres wide, sickle-shaped, bluish-green with three prominent veins.
The rod-shaped, golden flower heads are up to six centimetres long and held in clusters of two or three in the phyllode axils. The flowering period extends from September to November.
In our cold climate garden, Motherumbah blooms from late September to early October. The seed pots are flat and straight. Our specimen is rather shy when it comes to producing pods. Cultivated plants growing in a Tamworth garden also produce few if any pods.
Acacia cheelii occurs on the Northern Tablelands and western slopes and plains of NSW. This handsome wattle is very common in the Warrumbungle National Park in central NSW.
In the early 1900s, trees were lopped for cattle fodder. It is said to be favoured by cattle rather than Kurrajong, the better known fodder species.
The species name honours Edwin Cheel formerly of the National Herbarium, Sydney.
The common name, Motherumbah, appears to be a regional common name from the Warrumbungle area of NSW.