Acacia fulva

Velvet Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A shrub or tree to 15 m tall, with smooth bark.

It has a limited distribution and considered rare, with few records databased, near the Gloucester Bucketts, to Mt Yengo in Howes Valley, near the junction of the Central Coast and North Coast subdivisions, of NSW.

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 3.

Leaves are compound-bipinnate (jacaranda-type), to about 8 cm long; and have a silvery-grey colour due to the presence of hairs, on the upper and lower surface. Each pinnule (leaflet) is oblong-elliptic to 1 cm long.

Flowers are first produced in globular heads, to about 8 mm diameter, with up to 40 very small staminate flowers per head, bright yellow. The heads are arranged in axillary and terminal panicles or racemes, chiefly produced in winter.

Seed pods straight to curved, to 12 cm long, and about 0.6 cm wide.

In the garden

It is known to be cultivated (see references) and is reported to be an attractive plant and useful as a shelter tree. Give extra water in dry periods. Foliage has a beautiful velvet texture and reddish-brown growth.

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 wattles regenerate from seed after fire with some species suckering from the basal areas.

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.

fulva – Latin for yellow, usually a term that means “deep yellow, reddish-yellow, or golden”, which pertains to the attractive reddish-brown colour of the new growth.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild – but it is rare.

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

Gardening with Angus – Acacia fulva profile page

By Dan Clarke