Acacia leprosa

Cinnamon Wattle, Leper Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A large shrub to 6 m, found in woodlands of the central and southern tablelands and western slopes, as well as the south coast of New South Wales, extending into Victoria.

Phyllodes (modified leaves) to 14 cm in length, linear or lance-shaped to 3 cm wide, dotted with oil glands and smelling strongly of cinnamon.

Flowers are produced in globular heads, to 10 mm diameter, with up to 40 very small, staminate flowers in each head. The heads are produced in leaf axils, either solitarily or in groups of up to 6, generally lemon-yellow in colour and occur mainly in spring.

Seed pods are flat and about 5 cm long by 0.5 cm wide.

In the garden

A. leprosa has been cultivated for many years and makes an attractive garden plants for a well-drained position in full sun to partial shade as it is quite hardy.

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

The cultivar “Scarlet Blaze” has unique coloured red coloured flowers, for a wattle and is the only cultivar that does. It was discovered in 1995 and is Victoria’s Centenary of Federation emblem.
This species is very similar to Acacia verniciflua.

Acacia – from Greek acis, meaning a thorn “or thorny”.
leprosa – Latin for “disease” (root of “leprosy”), due to the phyllodes having a whitish, mealy or spotted surface.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild. However, the one, original red flowering form of Acacia leprosa has since died.


By Jeff Howes