Acacia kybeanensis

Kybean wattle or Kybeyan wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A spreading shrub to 2.5 m tall.

It grows in two general areas; around the NSW Blue Mountains/Newnes area; and south from the Snowy Mountains into the Gippsland area of Victoria.

It is often found on rocky slopes in rocky sandy soils as a part of dry sclerophyll woodland and forest communities.

The shrub typically has a dense or erect to spreading habit and finely greyish haired branchlets.

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 (modified leaves) are grey-green to 5 cm long and to 0.6 mm wide.

Flowers are produced in globular heads, to 7 mm diameter, with up to 14 very small staminate flowers per head. Heads are arranged in racemes with up to 8 per raceme, produced out of leaf axils, between August and October.

The seed pods have an oblong to narrowly oblong shape and are raised over seeds. The pods have a length of up to 60 mm and a width to 2 mm.

In the garden

An attractive ornamental plant that tolerates most soils and is frost/snow hardy. Flowers are bird attracting. It is known to be cultivated (base on images available online) and appears to grow well.

Best grown in full to dappled sun, on soil with adequate drainage.

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

May be confused with Acacia buxifolia which has glabrous phyllodes.

Most wattles regenerate from seed after fire, with some species suckering from the base.

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.

kybeanensis – named for the locality of Kybeyan (south-east of Cooma), collected by R.H. Cambage in 1908. The species has been named after “Kybean” rather than “Kybeyan” (This sort of error is known to happen in botany historically). Richard Hind Cambage CBE (b.1859 d.1928) was an Australian surveyor and botanist who made important contributions to the description of the genera Acacia and Eucalyptus.

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

NSW Flora Online – Acacia kybeanensis profile page

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

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