Acacia glaucoptera

Flat Wattle or Clay Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia glaucoptera is a  prostrate to semi-prostrate shrub from Western Australia, it grows naturally north of Albany and east to Esperance, on a latitude south of Perth. It grows to 1.2 m tall and to 2 m wide. It grows in shrubland, mallee and tall shrubland communities on gravelly clay to lateritic soils.

Phyllodes (modified leaves) are continuous with the branches which give the shrub a winged appearance and generates much interest. They are to 7 cm long and 2 cm wide which much of it fused to the branch, and with each phyllode virtually connecting to the next one. They are blue-green in colour and taper to a fine point (mucro). The new growth can be purple-red.

Flowers produced in globular heads, to 6 mm in diameter, with up to 80 very small staminate flowers per head. The heads are produced solitarily in phyllode axils. The flowers are bright yellow, showy and produced in spring.

Seed pods straight, oblong to linear, to 5 cm long and about 0.4 cm wide.

In the garden

Very common in cultivation. The nature of the foliage makes it very desirable with its winged and pointy phyllodes. It does need regular pruning to keep it growing densely and promoting the new red-purple growth. Grow in full sun or dappled shade. Needs a well-drained soil to do well. Give an open position – such as a shrubby garden.

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 will regenerate from seed after fire with some species exhibiting suckering from the base.

Acacia from Greek acis, meaning a thorn or “thorny”.
glaucoptera – translates to “blue-green wings”- glauco (Gk. γλαυκο) meaning “blue-green” and ptero (Gk. πτέρo) meaning “wing” or “feather”, referring to the winged blue-green branches or phyllodes.

Not known to be at risk in the wild.


By Dan Clarke