Acacia ulicifolia

Prickly Moses, Juniper wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A prickly shrub growing to 2 m high in dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, usually in sandy soil. It extends up and down the entire coast of NSW and west to the western slopes.

The phyllodes (leaves) are rigid, needle-like to 20 mm long and about 3 mm wide with a sharp point.

Flowers are produced in globular heads which are solitary in the leaf axils; pale cream in colour, occurring in mid-autumn to spring.

The seed pods are 5 cm long and 3 mm wide, curved and evenly constricted between the seeds.

In the garden

A. ulicifolia is not often cultivated and there are probably more colourful species for use in the garden. However, it is a useful plant where its prickly habit can deter access to particular areas and provide refuge for small birds. Grows best in full sun in a well-drained soil. It is propagated by some native plant nurseries.
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

Acacia from Greek acis, a thorn.
ulicifolia refers to Gorse plants of genus Ulex; Ulex-like foliage.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.


By Jeff Howes