Acacia paradoxa

Kangaroo Acacia, Kangaroo Thorn, Prickly Wattle, Hedge Wattle and Paradox Acacia

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia paradoxa is a prickly shrub growing to 4 m high by up to 4 m across. It grows in many different communities in various soil types in WA, Qld, NSW, Vic and SA. It has been introduced into Tasmania for cultivation and has naturalized.

In NSW, it can be found close to the coast and further west to the western slopes and just into the plains.

The phyllodes (resembling leaves) are small, elliptic with undulate margins and slightly curved; green to blue-green, to 3 cm long and 0.7 cm wide.

Flowers are produced in globular heads, 5–10mm in diameter, yellow to bright yellow in colour. The heads are produced singularly in leaf axils but are produced in large number over the plant.

Seed pods are straight to 7 cm long and 0.5 mm wide. 

In the garden

An adaptable frost hardy plant in cultivation and grows best in a sunny, reasonably well drained position in most soils.

It can be kept pruned tightly and will flower profusely.

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.

The plant has also been introduced to other continents. In the United States, kangaroo thorn is a well-known noxious weed in California.


Propagation is easy from scarified seed by covering with boiling water for 24 hours and discarding any seeds still floating on the surface

Likely regenerates from seed after fire.

Other information

Acacia from Greek acis, a thorn.
paradoxa referring to paradox, from the Greek words para which, in this case, means contrary to and doxa meaning opinion, referring to the thorny nature of the plant which is quite spectacular when in bloom.




Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

By Jeff Howes