Also known as wedge-leaved wattle and Tumut wattle, this evergreen shrub or small tree is native to southeastern Australia where it grows near streams or in moist sheltered sites, often in open Eucalyptus forests. It is a member of the legume family, Fabaceae, that also includes pea, lupine, and black locust. The plant grows 10-26′ tall and has slender angled or arching branches with ribbed branchlets. Lacking true leaves, the plant has gray-green phyllodes that are triangular, 0.28 to 0.63 ” long, and densely packed on the stems. In winter to spring, racemes of globose flower heads appear. The flower heads are .20-.24″ across and consist of 8 to 12 golden colored, honey scented flowers that are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The fruit that follows is narrowly oblong, about 3″ long, and contains several dull black seeds. Oven wattle can be used for a hedge, ground cover, or specimen plant and its flowers, structural branching, and phyllodes are attractive in flower arrangements. It is a good choice for butterfly, pollinator, fragrance, and winter gardens. The genus name, Acacia, comes either from the Greek word akazo meaning to sharpen or from the Egyptian word akakia, a name given to the Egyptian Thorn, Acacia arabica. The specific epithet, pravissima, is the Latin word meaning most crooked, and refers to the angular branching habit.

Racemes of flowerheads
Photo Credit: Donald Hobern, Wikimedia Commons

Type: Flowering evergreen shrub or small tree

Outstanding Feature: Phyllodes, flowers

Form: Weeping

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Flower heads consisting of 8 to 12 golden colored, honey scented flowers, from winter to spring

Size: 10-26′ H

Stems with phyllodes
Photo Credit Bidgee, Wikimedia Commons

Light: Full sun, partial shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic

Hardiness: Zones 8-11

Care: Prune immediately after flowering if necessary

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy bug susceptible to honey fungus

Propagation: Seed, semi-hardwood cuttings in summer

Outstanding Selections:

‘Golden Carpet’

‘Little Nugget’ (dwarf)

Photo Credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Wikimedia Commons

By Karen