Acacia gunnii

Ploughshare Wattle or Dog's-tooth Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia gunnii grows to 1 metre high and wide.

It is found in dry sclerophyll communities, in various soil types. Widespread in New South Wales (western areas of coastal subdivisions, tablelands and western slopes), as well as South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, and Queensland.

The phyllodes (modified leaves) shape is very variable, ranging from semi-trullate (brickies-trowel shape), lanceolate or broadly to narrowly triangular, to 15 mm long and 5 mm wide.

Cream to pale yellow flowers are produced in globular heads, with up to 30 very small, staminate flowers per head. Heads are produced singularly in leaf axils, in June to October.

Seed pods are curved or coiled, to 40 mm long and to 5 mm wide.

In the garden

Recommended as a rockery plant for its attractive foliage. Requires a well-drained position in full sun to grow at its best and will tolerate some shade.

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.

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.

gunnii – named after Ronald Campbell Gunn (1808-1881), a prominent early Tasmanian botanist and plant collected in the 1830s onwards, mainly in Tasmania and a few times on the mainland eastern coast.

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

Australian National Herbarium – Acacia gunnii profile page                http://www.anbg.gov.au/acacia/species/A-gunnii.html

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Acacia gunnii profile page

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

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