habit, SA

Natural populations

Acacia hakeoides has a scattered distribution across southern Australia [1]. It extends from near Esperance in Western Australia, east through southern South Australia, to inland parts of Victoria, and north to along the slopes and adjacent plains of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales. There are northern outliers in south eastern Queensland and an isolated occurrence near Broken Hill, New South Wales. This species is a shrub up to 4 m tall, and grows most commonly in light-textured soils such as sands or loams [1,2,3].

Flowering and seeds

Flowering in this species occurs usually during winter or sometimes spring and pods mature over the summer months [1,2,3,4]. Flowering is usually regular and it has a reputation for producing abundant seed crops. There are about 16 viable seeds per gram [4]. Nicking or boiling the seeds in water for a minute at 100°C is required to induce germination. Based on data from two seedlots tested seeds of this species start to germinate in about 10 days if grown at 25°C [4].

Cultivation and uses

Acacia hakeoides is a relatively fast growing, nitrogen-fixing shrub with a short to moderate life-span. It is drought resistant and moderately frost tolerant and best suited for cultivation on a range of recharge sites that have light-textured soils [1]. This species has potential as a low shelter belt for stock and for erosion control of sandy or loamy soils; and its seeds were traditionaly eaten by Australian Aborigines [1]. It also has potential as an ornamental shrub.

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 250-900 mm
Rainfall distribution: pattern summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 9-23 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 21-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 1-7 °C
Frosts per year: frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude 2-550 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant or known to tolerant of protracted droughts
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, duplex texture contrast soils, light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5), neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: well-drained
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity or alkalinity
Extremes in texture: sand
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen, shrub less than 2 m tall or multi-stemmed from or near ground level
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast or moderate
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Root system: architecture: shallow and spreading or fixes nitrogen via root symbiot
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: low

Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes or shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: pollen has value in apiculture or seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant or suitable as a screen or hedge
Wood products: high quality fuelwood
Potentially undesirable attributes
Growth habit: mod. to strong propensity to root sucker or shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Weediness: high potential based on its biology


[1] Maslin BR and McDonald MW (2004) AcaciaSearch-evaluation of Acacia as a woody crop option for southern Australia. Rural Industries Research Development Corporation Publication No. 03/017, Canberra.

[2] Whibley DJE, Symon DE (1992) Acacias of South Australia (South Australian Govt Printer, Adelaide).

[3] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of Western New South Wales, Inkata Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria.

[4] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at  Accessed March 2008]

Internet links

Charles Sturt University's Virtual Herbarium:

eFloraSA Electronic Flora of South Australia:

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales:

World Wide Wattle: