Acacia ingramii

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia ingramii is a tall, dense shrub or small tree that may reach a height of 7 metres.

This rare wattle is found in and around the gorge country, east of Armidale in northern New South Wales. It is confined to an area between Walcha, Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes River National Park further north with many records east of Armidale. In spring, the gorge country lights when Acacia ingramii flowers. It is one of the most spectacular floral displays in northern New South Wales.

It is found on steep gorge-country in dry sclerophyll woodland and forest.

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 1.

Phyllodes are linear, to about 14 cm long by only 0.3 cm wide, with a small hook. They are said to carry two glands on the margin. One is near the base and the other about halfway along. (Close examination of our specimen revealed a prominent basal gland on all phyllodes but no evidence of a second gland).

Bright yellow staminate flowers are held in globular heads or clusters with up to 25 flowers in each head with heads about 6 mm in diameter, and with heads produced in racemes up to 5 cm long. Flowers cover plants in spring.

Blooms are followed by linear pods (see thumbnail), to 90 mm long by 8 mm wide.

In the garden

Acacia ingramii will light up your garden and can be cultivated as an eye-catching specimen plant.

Not a lot is known about its cultivation potential and it is somewhat rare. However, plants may be able to be sourced in the Armidale-area of NSW and further afield.

Likely a plant that can tolerate a cold climate and frost.


Propagate from seeds and possibly cuttings. Seeds require soaking in boiling water. We are still experimenting with Acacia ingramii cuttings.

Other information

Although classified as rare, nearly all populations are protected in places such as Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and Guy Fawkes River National Park that covers most of the eastern gorge country.

Most wattles die in a fire and regenerate from seed. Some species can sucker from basal parts and roots.

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.

ingramii – is named in Honour of Cyril Keith Ingram (1912-2002), a noted educator and botanist in NSW. Ingram originally collected the species which was named in 1978. He was known for having one of the largest private herbaria ever recorded, amounting to 37,000 specimens.

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

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

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia ingramii profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_ingramii.htm


By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.