Acacia filicifolia

Fern-leaved wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfam. Mimosoideae

Acacia filicifolia is an erect shrub or tree, growing to a height of 15 m and is mostly found on the coast and tablelands of New South Wales, into the western slopes/ It also grows in Qld. Usually found on sandy soils in dry sclerophyll woodlands and forests. The trunk can have silvery/grey resin or wax along most of its length.

This wattle is in the group with compound – bipinnate foliage, with leaves to about 15 cm long with between one and five prominent glands. The pinnae (groups of leaflets or pinnules) are to 8 cm long with individual pinnules very small and linear, about 1 cm long and less than 1 mm wide.

Like all bipinnate wattles, flowers are produced in globular heads which are about 5 to 6 mm in diameter with each head having up to 30 very small, staminate, bright yellow flowers. Flowers occurs from July to October.

The flat seed pods are to 13 cm long and about 2 cm wide.

In the garden

Not much is known about its cultivation potential. It would likely grow well, if desired, on a well-drained soil.

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

Most bipinnate wattles will regenerate from seed after fire. This group does not tend to exhibit reshooting of trunks or branches after fire but may exhibit suckering from lateral roots and trunk bases.

Acacia – from Greek acis, meaning a thorn or “thorny”.
filicifolia – is derived from the Latin words filix meaning “fern” and folium meaning “a leaf” referring to the similarity of the leaves of this wattle to the fronds of some species of fern.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

By Jeff Howes