Acacia parramattensis

Sydney Green Wattle or Parramatta Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia parramattensis is known as the Sydney Green Wattle or Parramatta (western Sydney) Wattle and is a spreading tree that may reach a height of 15 metres.

It has a natural distribution in NSW, as far north as around Yengo National park (north-west of Sydney), then extending south through the central coast and southern tablelands in the main, as well as the south western slopes and south coast. It is likely another wattle that has spread beyond its natural range along road verges and through seed spread from planting.

It is often found in dry and wet sclerophyll forests and woodlands and also in copses in open areas such as paddock edges and road verges etc.

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.

The leaves are bipinnate and dark green. There is a large gland at the base of each pair of pinnae and sometimes a smaller gland between pinnae (see thumbnail).

Staminate flowers are arranged into globular heads, to 8 mm in diameter, consisting of up to 50 cream flowers, with heads arranged in terminal panicles or racemes, displayed in summer.

Pods are linear and clothed with fine hairs that are pressed close to the surface. Plants may sucker.

In the garden

Acacia parramattensis is a hardy, reliable garden species.

Acacia parramattensis has proved to be hardy, free flowering, drought resistant and frost tolerant. The species flowers out of the “normal” spring wattle season.

It is known to be cultivated and used extensively in bushland regeneration projects. It grows well in a copse if desired. It can be short lived, with copses producing a lot of dead stems on average.


Propagate from seed that should be treated with boiling water before sowing.

Other information

The type specimen was collected in Hazelbrook, the Blue Mountains in 1960 and named by Mary Tindale.

The Parramatta Wattle can be confused with A. decurrens. This latter species has high, distinctive ribs on the branchlets, flowers in winter-early spring (with A. parramattensis in summer), and has larger and more widely-spaced pinnules (leaflets).

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.

parramattensis – Latin – referring to Parramatta in Sydney; where the species was once commonly found.

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

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

Wattle – Acacias of Australia Online – Acacia parramattensis profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_parramattensis.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.