A small, prickly shrub to 2 m in sandy heaths, open forests and woodlands. Generally in open and drier areas on light soils throughout Australia’s east coast.

Phyllodes to 2 cm, dark green, spiny. Very prickly, as the name suggests. Will provide useful small bird habitat and should be encouraged. Has been used in gardens as a hedge plant. Useful in preventing intrusion by dogs.

Flowers are white puff balls in winter and spring.

Propagation: From scarified seed or boiling water treatment.

The name refers to the gorse genus (Ulex) like foliage. There are seaside variants.

Photo: Robert Whyte