Acacia stricta

Straight Wattle, Hope Wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

An erect or spreading shrub to small tree, to 6 metres tall.

It is found in wet and dry sclerophyll forest, woodlands and heath, on a range of soils. It grows all along the NSW coastal and tablelands subdivisions, extending into the south western slopes, as far west as around Albury. It grows through the approximate southern half of Victoria (mostly close to the coast) and grows around Mt Gambier and Robe in South Australia. It extends into south-eastern Queensland, as far north as Caboolture and also occurs over much of Tasmania.

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.

The phyllodes (modified leaves) are narrowly elliptic, to linear-oblanceolate, to 14 cm long and to 1.5 cm wide, green to blue-green, sometimes with a small point (mucro) at the apex).

Up to 30 very small staminate flowers are produced in globular heads, up to 5 mm diameter, which are held in groups of 2 to 4, in the leaf axils; pale yellow to white, occurring in spring.

The seed pods are straight, to 10 cm long and 0.5 cm wide.

In the garden

Reported to be adaptable in cultivation. Grows well in sunny, well-drained positions, in most soils. Has a desirable erect and upright habit.

Frost hardy and suitable for low maintenance.

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 the basal areas.

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.

stricta – Latin – referring to its erect / upright habit.

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

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

Australian National Herbarium – Acacia stricta profile page                http://www.anbg.gov.au/acacia/species/A-stricta.html

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 Dan Clarke