Acacia vestita

Weeping Boree

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

A medium to tall, spreading shrub, reaching a height of 3 metres with a similar spread. The branches are pendulous/weeping and the foliage is grey-green.

Much of the natural occurrence is concentrated on the Central Western Slopes and Central Tablelands of NSW, with some scattered records on the Southern Tablelands; mainly between Dubbo-Kandos-Bathurst and Young. There are a few disjunct and scattered records north and south of here (west of Tamworth and Armidale, as well as west of Bombala and north-west of Cooma). It is not recognised as occurring in Victoria.

It is foetn found in deep gullies and steep slopes in dry sclerophyll woodland.

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 1.

Phyllodes are ovate to elliptical in shape, 2 cm long by 1 cm wide; blue-green in colour, with a fine point. Phyllodes are have an almost-whorled to clustered-arrangement on stems which is easily recogniseable for identification. Both branchlets and phyllodes are covered with tiny hairs.

Golden-yellow and very small staminate flowers are held in dense globular clusters, with up to 30 flowers per head. The heads are grouped into racemes of up to 25 in leaf axils. Plants light up with blooms from early August to October.

In the garden

This species is an attractive wattle with a weeping habit and is a popular wattle in cultivation. It flowers spectacularly once shrubs are established.

Both foliage and flowers are eye-catching features. Remove each branch behind spent blooms as this will encourage fresh growth and bounteous blooming.

Acacia vestita could be cultivated as a specimen shrub in the middle of a lawn or incorporated in shrubberies and hedges.

Grow in full sun on a sandy loam to clay loam with good drainage for best results.


Propagate from seed, treated with boiling water before sowing, and probably cuttings.

Other information

The type specimen was named from material collected from a cultivated plant growing in the conservatory of Comtesse de Vandes, at Bayswater, UK in 1823. The plant was grown from seed collected by Allan Cunningham from “the interior of New Holland”. The image is from the original description.

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.

vestita – Latin meaning “dressed” or “clothed” – referring to the hairy covering of the phyllodes.

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

Australian National Herbarium – Acacia vestita profile page                  https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp5/aca-vest.html

Gardening with Angus – Acacia vestita profile page                https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/acacia-vestita-hairy-wattle/

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

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 Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.