Acacia juncifolia

Rushed-leaved Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia juncifolia is an erect to spreading shrub to 3 m high.

It is found naturally in NSW, north from around Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains, growing on the central and north coast subdivisions as well as the central and north western slopes. Curiously, it is not known to grow on the central or northern tablelands. It extends a long way into Queensland, growing in coastal and inland areas in a patchy distribution to Cairns

It grows in dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands, in sandy soils.

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.

The phyllodes (modified leaves) are rigid, very narrow and linear, to 20 cm long and about 1 mm wide with an acute apex. They are 4-angled in cross-section; mid to dark green in colour.

Flowers are produced in globular heads, up to 6 mm diameter which are produced solitary in the phyllode axils; yellow to deep yellow. Each head can have up to 30 very small staminate flowers.

The seed pods are 10 cm long and 3 mm wide, straight to slightly curved.

In the garden

Not a lot is known about its cultivation but reported to be cultivated (see resources). It is an interesting architectural plant with its long narrow upright phyllodes. Reported to need a well-drained soil. The very thin foliage makes it an interesting wattle.

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 suckering from the basal areas.

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.

juncifolia – has foliage resembling species of Juncus – a diverse genus of rushes.

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

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

Paten Park Native Nursery – Acacia juncifolia profile page                          https://ppnn.org.au/plantlist/acacia-juncifolia/

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

By Dan Clarke