Acacia elata

Cedar Wattle, Mountain Cedar Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia elata is a  long-lived wattle-tree, potentially reaching 30 m. It is endemic to coastal areas of New South Wales from the Budawang Range in the south as afar as the Bellinger River in the north growing in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forests. It is considered a weed in Qld, Vic and WA.

It has dark green compound-bipinnate (jacaranda-type) evergreen leaves to 30-35 cm long. The groups of leaflets (pinnae) can be up to 25 cm long (at right angles to the main leaf axis) with individual leaflets (pinnules) to 6 cm long and about 1 cm wide. Hence, the tree projects large leaves and dense shade.

It blooms between December and February producing flowers in globular heads about 1 cm in diameter, with each head having up to 55 very small staminate flowers, yellow to cream in colour.

The globular heads are clustered in secondary inflorescences (panicles or racemes) which are produced in leaf axils and interspersed between leaves.

The straight, flat seed pods that form after flowering have a length to 17 cm and a width to 1.5 cm.

In the garden

This is an attractive, reasonably long-lived tree, with attractive foliage that is sometimes seen cultivated in large gardens in shady situations.

It is known to escape from gardens and is considered as a weed in wetter regions in the south-west of Western Australia. It has also become naturalised in other parts of Australia including Queensland and parts of Victoria.

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

Available and grown in California, USA and many other countries. The timber is attractive, close-grained, strong and hard, and is suitable for carpentry and turning.

Not likely to be overly affected by fires in its natural habitat but likely regenerates from seed.

Acacia – from Greek akis, meaning a thorn or “thorny”.
elata – Latin. refers to its tall, tree-like habit (elated – reaching a high level).

Not known to be at risk in the wild.

By Jeff Howes