Plant of the Month – Nov 2017


(Acacia nematophylla)

(Photos: E. Cousins, shrub in April, flowers in October; Cape Jervis)

We have been eyeing off this dainty acacia at Cape Jervis for a while now, and were pleased to have it identified recently by Martin O’Leary at the State Herbarium. The name is very descriptive, in that ‘nemato’ means thread-like, and ‘phyllon’ means leaf in Greek. The leaves are really phyllodes, about 2-4cm long, and REALLY narrow, at no more than 1.5mm. They are also hairless, grey-green, and fairly straight with a slightly hook at the tip. At about 11cm, the leathery brown seed pods are a lot longer than these short, thin leaves. Another identifier is the flower: the flower ball is always single, attached to the stem by a short little branch. Although the peak flower season is summer, this acacia does flower for most of the year. The specimens we have seen are only knee high yet, but it can grow to 2.5m. A nice small shrub for your garden??