Acacia parvipinnula

Silver-stemmed wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

This is a variable wattle in terms of height – it can grow to 10 metres tall but are often found much smaller. 

It has a limited distribution in coastal areas of central New South Wales from around Singleton to around the Shoalhaven River where it is found in a variety of habitats. It can grow in many different soil types as a part of dry sclerophyll forest or woodland communities.

It is one of the compound-leaved wattles with bipinnate leaves (the overall leaf being comprised of many small leaflets or pinnules. A Jacaranda tree is a great example of such foliage). These wattles retain their juvenile foliage and never produce phyllodes.

The leaves are up to 8 cm long and 5 cm wide which each pinnule about 0.5 cm long and 0.1 mm wide.

It flowers between April and January, producing simple spherical flower-heads (globes) with a diameter of about 0.5 cm. Each globe contains 14 to 20 pale yellow flowers. Hence, each individual wattle flower is very small.

The globes of flowers in these bipinnate wattles are then structured into raceme-like groups about 15 cm long by 2 cm wide, creating the typical flowering show observed in many wattles.

Pods are straight to curved, up to 17 cm long and less than 1 cm wide.

Acacia parvipinnula is closely allied to A. filicifolia

In the garden

This is not a common garden plant.

It likely grows well like other similar species such as A. decurrens and A. mearnsii. However, it is not known if it is propagated and sold widely.


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. Many of these bipinnate wattles are short-lived.

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 will die in a fire and regenerate from seed. Some species can 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.

parvipinnula – Latin – parvi – meaning “small” referring to the small pinnules or leaflets.

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

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

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia parvipinnula factsheet https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_parvipinnula.htm 

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