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Weird and spiny looking wattles


Acacia aphylla and A. glaucoptera are quite unique looking wattles, and yet still share enough characteristics that are worth mentioning together here.

These wattles are both leafless shrubs that appear, misleadingly very spiny, with blue, red to yellow/green stems that have been modified through evolution to also do the work of leaves.

Both species naturally come from similar drier, exposed environments in south-western Western Australia and so can be grown together in the exposed sunny gardens with poor soils.

Anyone wishing to grow interesting or unusual native plants will likely be drawn to at least one of these two wattles and it’s not uncommon for interest in one of these plants leading people to the other as well. There are other weird wattles, but these two are possibly the weirdest that seem to appeal to most (in particular, growers of succulent plants).

Their unique growth forms and growth habits are intriguing to say the least. While they both have attractive and interestingly arranged floral displays of golden yellow, this usually pales into insignificance compared with the appeal of the seasonal colour changes of the foliage itself  or the actual shape and growth habit that can easily be described as ‘living art’.

Jane Edmanson , ABC’s television garden personality, presented some of her favourite wattles, on the 7/12/2006 and for Acacia aphylla, she said it was ‘quite extraordinary- looking’...(appearing)   really prickly, but it’s actually quite soft like a succulent.’


For the full articles and detailed pictures about each species click on the names below the pictures. (Also see NEW booklet about these and other wattles in website Bookshop).

 acacia aphylla
Acacia aphylla

Erect many-branching shrub from approximately 1 metre in diameter to over 2 metres in height...

acacia glaucoptera
Acacia glaucoptera

A shrub to approximately 1 m in height and width, often with a sprawling habit, however some large old plants can reach 2 metres across...

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