Acacia oshanesii

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia oshanesii a tall shrub or small tree, potentially reaching 12 metres in height.

It has a limited occurrence in NSW, growing on the north coast, from around the Bellingen area to Maclean. It extends into Queensland, somewhat disjunctly, growing from Brisbane to around Bundaberg.

It is often found in wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest on a range of soil types, from clay to sandy loams.

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 3.

Bipinnate leaves are dark green. There are 11 to 18 pairs of leaflets and there are 15-40 pairs of secondary leaflets in each leaflet. Usually there are glands at the top of the stem (rachis) of each group of leaflets (see thumbnail).

The staminate flowers are in globular heads to 8 mm in diameter, pale yellow with heads carried in racemes at the base of the leaves. The flowering period is mainly late winter to spring with sporadic flowering at other times.

Pods are straight to curved, to 14 cm long by 1.2 cm wide.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

We are fond of our Acacia oshanesii because it flowers out of season when most other wattles are resting. In our cold climate garden our specimen, after a number of years, has reached a height of five metres with a similar spread. Our specimen carries blooms in late summer. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

The species is said to be occasionally cut as a timber tree and is probably too large for suburban gardens. The species is better suited to parks and rural properties.


Propagate from seed.

Other information

Most wattles will die in a fire and regenerate from seed. Some species exhibit suckering from basal parts and roots.

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.

oshanesii – named in Honour of John O’Shanesy (1834-1899); an Irish gardener who moved to Queensland and worked at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and established a nursery at Rockhampton.

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

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

Wattle – Acacias of Australia Online – Acacia oshanesii profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_oshanesii.htm

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.