Acacia falcata (MIMOSACEAE) Sickle-leaved Wattle

Plants to Plant

Erect, tree-like shrub to 4 m throughout Queensland and NSW mostly in coastal areas. Curved (falcate) phyllodes with a prominent mid vein. Flowers are cream coloured ball-flowers in early winter. Unusual seed pods show the seeds very obviously. Interestingly, A. falcata is not as favoured as some others, and hard to find information on. It is very successful in the Enoggera catchment and quite a show in June, before the A. fimbriata starts. Host plant for larvae of Common Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras evagoras and Short-tailed Line-blue Prosotas felderi.
Flowers and phyllodes. Photo: Robert Whyte


Propagate from scarified seed or use the boiling water treatment (pour on boiling water, let sit till cool). Tubestock shown here were photographed at the SOWN Nursery Paten Road The Gap.
Tubestock. Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers and Use

Flowers are whitish, yellow puffballs. Acacia falcata is a useful pioneer species in difficult (hard, dry) site. Like all Acacias, A. falcata fixes nitrogen in the soil. Can surprise with its ability to survive on clayey loams and heavy stony soils. Can be “lifted” by pruning so that the site is easier to maintain (exotic vines and other weeds can be removed more easily when you can get in under the young trees.) A good choice for areas where poor quality fill has been pushed to form batters, along roadsides or around sports grounds. Can be planted thickly and will self sow if the site is kept weed free and the soil receptive (mulched).
Flowers closeup. Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers and Form

Similar to A. pycnantha which has a central midvein, and darker and larger flower heads. The name refers to the curved (falcate) shape of the phyllodes.
PHOTO: Robert Whyte

Fruit and Seeds

The seed pods are long, trailing and very bumpy – showing the black seed through the brownish skin of the seed case.
Photo: Robert Whyte


Generally adaptable in cultivation, responds to sunny, reasonably well-drained positions in most soils. Very hardy. Bird friendly. Used medicinally – “embrocation made from bark” for skin diseases (Les Robinson, author of “Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney”).

References and Resources

WattleWeb – Gardening with Wattles – Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney World Wide Wattle Aboriginal Uses of Plants Around Sydney – Les Robinson, reproduction of a paper presented at the SGAP 17th Biennial Seminar, Robert Menzies College, Sydney, 27 September to 1 October 1993