Acacia meiantha

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

An erect or sometimes straggling shrub to 2.5 m high, with smooth greenish/brown bark.

It is found in three disjunct populations, all within the NSW Central Tablelands within 100 km of each other. Two of these are at Mullions Range (north of Orange) and the other at Clarence (east of Lithgow).

It grows in dry sclerophyll forest or woodland, in sandy to clayey soils.

It is a listed threatened species (endangered), consisting of severely fragmented populations that are in decline.

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 straight to slightly curved, to 5 cm long and to about 1 cm wide.

Flowers are grouped firstly into globular heads, to 5 mm in diameter, with 4 to 8 very small staminate flowers in each head. The heads are produced in axillary racemes with up to 20 heads in each raceme, occurring in July to October.

Seed pods are straight or slightly curved, to 8 cm long and 1 cm wide.

In the garden

No recorded cultivation notes. It is a listed threatened species and therefore, likely hard to grow from sourced seed. Check with native nurseries for availability. It may be more widely cultivated in the future.

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 bases of stems.

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.

meiantha – from Greek meion (μείον) meaning “less” or “minus” and antha – Greek (via Latin) anthir (ανθήρ) meaning “anthers” – referring to the compartitvely very few staminate flowers in each globular head.

This plant is listed as threatened with the category of endangered at both the State and Commonwealth level.

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage – Threatened species profile – Acacia meiantha https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=20292

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Acacia meiantha profile page

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