Acacia jonesii

Family: Fabaceae Subfamily Mimosoideae

A large shrub to 4 m high and 2 m wide.

It is found in a limited distribution in coastal regions, in central and southern New South Wales. It is restricted mostly to the area between west of Kiama, through to Goulburn and down to around Nowra in the south. However, there are also a few records around Lake Burragorang and Springwood and further north towards Wisemans Ferry and Newcastle. It is still considered rare.

It grows in sandstone and in clay soils, as a part of dry sclerophyll woodland and forest communities.

It has smooth brown to grey-green often mottled bark.

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, with pinnae (groups of leaflets or pinnules) to 4 cm long, with each pinnule about 6 mm long and 2 mm wide, green in colour.

Flowers are produced in globular heads, to 8 mm in diameter, with up to 15 very small staminate flowers in each head. Heads are produced on axillary racemes up to about 25 heads, yellow to bright yellow and occur in July to October.

Seed pods are straight to slightly curved to 7 cm long and 8 mm wide.

In the garden

An adaptable plant in most soils but prefers a protected position with some moisture.  It is also frost resistant. Not that commonly cultivated by seeds are sold online and it is known to be grown.

Grows naturally on both sandy and clay soils. Give good drainage for best results. It is a very attractive shrub.

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 exhibiting basal suckering.

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.

jonesii – named after Sir Sydney Jones, (15 April 1836 – 18 September 1918) was an Australian medical practitioner and University of Sydney vice-chancellor (1904–1906) and former President of the Australian Medical Congress.

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

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

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

Wikipedia – Acacia jonesii profile page                                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_jonesii

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