Acacia elongata

Swamp Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia elongata is a large shrub growing to 3 m or a bit taller by 1.5 m wide in sunny damp situations in NSW.

It grows naturally along most of the NSW coast (with some gaps) and tablelands subdivisions and extends slightly into the southern and central tablelands. Its southern limit is around Eden. It extends into Queensland only as far as the Gold Coast. but also extends into the western slopes.

It is usually found in sandstone and sandy dry sclerophyll woodlands and heathlands.

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.

The phyllodes are linear and very narrow in shape, to about 13 cm long by about 0.3 cm wide with prominent longitudinal veins and ending in a short point. Dark green and somewhat curved.

The flowers are produced in globular heads. Each head may contain up to 42 very small staminate flowers and is to 1 cm in diameter. The heads are then arranged in racemes of up to 7 but usually only 1 to 3, in the axils of the phyllodes. Flowers are yellow to bright yellow in colour. Flowering is mainly in late winter and spring (July to October).

Pods are straight and flat but raised over seeds to 11 cm long and to 0.5 cm wide.

In the garden

A. elongata is a versatile plant that is frost hardy (will tolerate frosts to -7°C) is resistant to salt spray and will grow in damp and poorly drained situations.

It is not overly popular in cultivation but makes a very nice plant. Check local native nurseries for availability.

Very hardy on a wide range of soils. Prune yearly to keep plant smaller.

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.

This Editor is currently growing this one and it has proven hardy so far. It flowered within a year of planting.


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 will die in a fire and regenerate from seed. Some species exhibit suckering from basal parts and roots.

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.

elongata – from Latin elongatus, meaning “lengthened” or “prolonged”, referring to the long, narrow phyllodes.

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

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

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

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

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