Acacia suaveolens

Sweet wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A typically sparse and leggy shrub growing from 0.3 to 2.5 m high, with a narrow spread; occurring from southern Queensland, down the east coast of NSW and Victoria, into Tasmania and South Australia. It grows in dry sclerophyll forests, woodlands and heathlands, in coastal areas of low altitude ranging from low coastal secondary dunes up to an altitude of 300 m. It is typically found on sandy soil or sandstone.

The phyllodes (resemble leaves) are straight or slightly curving blue-green coloured 5–15 cm long and to 1 cm wide.
The globular flower heads are to 7 mm in diameter (with up to 10 flowers per head). The heads are arranged in racemes in the leaf axils. Flowers are pale yellow to near white, and generally appear between April and September. The flowers are also pleasantly odorous.

Seed pods are flattened, bluish near rectangular pods which are up to 5 cm long and 2 cm wide. The pods are a very attractive feature with their oblong shape.

In the garden

It is one of the earliest flowering of the wattles (April to September) and provides winter colour in a garden. Makes an interesting garden plant with its attractive coloured phyllodes, its long flowering period and perfumed flowers. It is salt-spray tolerant as well as frost and drought tolerant. It is not a dense shrub, being rather spindly, but it can be pruned to promote more flowering branches.

Prefers to grow in sand and this author has found it will not grow in heavy/clay soils easily.

This species is known to be toxic to stock.

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

Similar to the South Australian species Acacia iteaphylla which is a more bushy shrub.

Regenerates from seed in large numbers after fire, usually quickly.

Acacia from Greek acis, a thorn.
suaveolens is derived from the Latin meaning “sweet-smelling”, referring to the odorous flowers.

Not known to be at risk in the wild.


By Jeff Howes