Acacia matthewii

Matthew’s Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A tree growing to 15 m high.

It is a rare plant in the wild and limited in NSW to east of Rylstone, Kandos and Capertee to Dharug National Park, particularly from the area around Mount Yengo and the Howes Valley.

It is found on margins of wet sclerophyll forest, dry sclerophyll woodland and in pure stands, on sandstone and shale.

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 2.

Phyllodes (modified leaves) are bright green, narrowly elliptic to about 20 cm long and 3.5 cm wide.

Staminate flowers are produced in spikes, to 6 cm long, in phyllode axes, with up to 3 produced per axis. The spikes consist of many small staminate flowers, bright yellow, occurring from August to November

Seed pods are straight or sometimes curved or twisted and flat, to 10 cm long and 0.4 mm wide.

In the garden

Cultivation details are currently not known. It is a very attarctive plant when in flower.

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

Similar to Acacia cheelii and A. blakei.

Most wattles regenerate from seed after fire with some species exhibiting reshooting/suckering from bases of trunks.

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.

matthewii – after Pattrick Matthew, a naturalist from the Central Coast of NSW.

A rare plant but not listed as endangered. It is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

Flora of Australia Online – Acacia mathewii profile page https://profiles.ala.org.au/opus/foa/profile/Acacia%20matthewii

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Acacia mathewii profile page

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