Queensland Native Seeds

Acacia macradenia

Scientific NameAcacia macradenia
CategoriesNitrogen FixerShrubWattle
Common Name(s)Zig-Zag Wattle
FamilyFabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae


"Shrub or tree 3–5 m high." (WorldWideWattle ver. 2)


"Grows in stony and sandy soil, often near creeks, in woodland or sometimes vine thicket." (WorldWideWattle ver. 2)

Acacia macradenia occurs throughout central Queensland and is used for mine rehabilitation with some frequency. Seed production cost is relatively low.

This Acacia species is very attractive both because of its unusual "zig-zag" branches and also because of its brilliant yellow flowering displays. Therefore it has been promoted as an ornamental plant by nurseries.

Despite the natural occurence of this plant a short distance away from Brisbane (Wondai SF at 170km, and Brigooda at 200km) the Brisbane City Council in south east Queensland have observed that it can invade local ecologies. In an effort to preserve these ecologies they now discourage the planting of Acacia macradenia around Brisbane.

"This species is now regarded as an emerging environmental weed in south-eastern Queensland. It has been widely cultivated in gardens in the coastal parts of this region because of its unusual architecture and striking floral displays. It is also commonly planted along roadsides and in amenity areas, because it is 'native' to Queensland. However, it is not native to this part of the state and has spread from such plantings, particularly in the Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast areas.For example, zig-zag wattle (Acacia macradenia) was planted extensively along the margins of the Toohey Forest at Nathan in the south-east of Brisbane some time ago. It has now spread into extensively into Toohey Forest, where it hybridises with the local Brisbane wattle (Acacia fimbriata). Therefore, this species should be taken seriously as a weed because it has the ability to invade natural bushland areas and replace populations of native wattles with unnatural hybrids. It has also recently been observed in parks and reserves in many parts of western Brisbane (e.g. Mount Crosby, St. Lucia, Redbank and Mount Coot-tha)." (Brisbane City Council, Qld, Australia)

We noted the frequent use of Acacia macradenia in roadside revegetation projects in SE Queensland from 2006. In more recent years this seems to have lessened or stopped completely.

Acacia macradenia is very productive in terms of its seed once planted along coastlines where annual rainfall significantly exceeds its natural habitats. Annual rainfall in the Brisbane area exceeds rainfall in the natural habitats of Acacia macradenia by around forty to one hundred percent. Average Winter night-time temperatures in Winter are much higher near the coast allowing a longer growing season.

Mean annual Rainfalls, Brisbane vs Wondai and Mitchell. (Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, 2019)

Brisbane (Eagle Farm Racecourse) Qld, 1130.20mm

Wondai Post Office, Qld 783.30mm

Mitchell Post Office, Qld 570.70mm

Historical Notes


"Widespread in south-eastern Qld from Clermont to Surat with a northern outlier at Torrens Creek, NE of Hughenden." (WorldWideWattle ver. 2)

Distribution Map | Acacia macradenia | Queensland Native Seeds

Acacia macradenia | inflorescence | Queensland Native Seeds
Acacia macradenia | habitat | Queensland Native Seeds
Acacia macradenia | seed | Queensland Native Seeds
Acacia macradenia | microscope | Queensland Native Seeds

References and Related Links

WorldWideWattle ver. 2. Published on the internet at: www.worldwidewattle.com [Accessed on Sept 22, 2019]

http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/macradenia.php?id=23730 Brisbane City Council, Qld, Australia. Published on the internet at https://weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/zig-zag-wattle [Accessed on Sept 23, 2019] Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, 2019. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/ [Data accessed Sept 23, 2019]