Acacia lunata

Lunate-leaved Acacia

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A shrub to 3 metres high.

It is found only in NSW, confined to the central coast and tablelands, as well as, the northern counterparts; from around Cessnock in the north down to around Richmond (western Sydney) in the south.

It grows on slopes and around creeks in sandy and sandstone-based soils as part of open eucalypt-woodland and forest communities (dry sclerophyll).

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 green, have an unequal oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic shape, to 3.5 cm long and about 1 cm wide.

Inflorescences are primarily globular heads with each head having about 5 very small staminate flowers. The heads are then clustered into racemes with up to 23 heads in each raceme. Racemes are produced in leaf axils, from July to November.

The seed pods have a narrowly oblong shape, up to 6 cm long and 0.8 cm wide.

In the garden

Currently, not much is known about this species in cultivation. It may be difficult to propagate or may not have been trialled to a large degree.

Check with local native nurseries for availability. It is found naturally on sandy and sandstone-based substrates so may need similar conditions to thrive in a garden.

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 will regenerate from seed after fire.

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.

lunata – Latin – meaning ‘lunate’ which is ‘crescent-shaped’ (lunar – moon-shape) – referrring to the shape of the phyllodes.

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

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

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia lunata profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/pdf/entities/acacia_lunata.pdf


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