Acacia howittii

Howitts Wattle, Sticky Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia howittii is a potential tree growing to 9 m tall and potentially 5 m wide, it is naturally restricted to Victoria, growing in the southern Gippsland hills, between Yarram and Tarra Valley. It is not considered to be threatened and has been observed naturalising outside its natural range. It grows in wet and dry sclerophyll forests.

Phyllodes (modified leaves) are narrowly-elliptic to lanceolate, to 3 cm long and about 1 cm wide, and dark green and very sticky to touch.

Flowers produced in globular heads, to 3 mm in diameter, with up to 20 very small staminate flowers per head. The heads produced solitarily on in pairs in leaf axils. The flowers are bright yellow, showy and produced in spring.

Seed pods straight, oblong to linear, to 6 cm long and about 0.5 cm wide.

In the garden

Very common in cultivation. It has a graceful, weeping habit, which can be pruned to promote density, which makes it desirable. Can be used as a screen plant or hedge to very good effect. Hardy in a wide range of soils. It is advised to plant them out of tubestock. Prune to create density and desirable form. Be considerate when planting as it is known to naturalise in bushland.

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

There is a dense small cultivar called “Honey Bun” (see references)

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”.
howittii – named in honour of Dr Alfred William Howitt (1830-1908), an English explorer and botanist

Not known to be at risk in the wild. Has been observed naturalising in other parts of Victoria.



By Dan Clarke