Acacia subtilinervis

Net-veined wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia subtilinervis is a tree or shrub growing to a height of 4 metres with grey coloured bark and can have a spreading to erect habit.

It is found in New South Wales, south from around the Lithgow area, growing mainly on the tablelands and then found on the coast south from around Nowra. The species also grows in Victoria.

It is often found among rocky outcrops as a part of heathland or dry sclerophyll woodland and forest communities.

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 species belongs to Group 2.

This species has leathery phyllodes (modified leaves) which are narrowly elliptic to linear shape, to 15 cm long and 1.5 cm wide.

Flowering occurs between August and October. Very small staminate flowers are produced in cylindrical-shaped heads to 3 cm in length and densely packed; bright deep-yellow in colour.

The seed pods are straight and reasonably flat except for around the seeds, to 10 cm long and to 4 mm wide.

In the garden

No recorded cultivation details are currently available for this species. It may be difficult to grow or may need to be trialled further. Grows on rocky outcrops generally (sandstone) and so may need similar habitat to thrive.

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

subtilinervis – from Latin – subtilis – meaning “subtle” and nervis – meaning “nerves” or “veins” – referring to to the very fine veins in the phyllodes.

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

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Acacia subtilinervis profile page

Wattle – Acacias of Australia – Acacia subtilinervis profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/entities/acacia_subtilinervis.htm


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