Acacia retinodes
Acacia melanoxylon2.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Clade: Mimosoideae
Genus: Acacia
A. retinodes
Binomial name
Acacia retinodes
Acacia retinodesDistMap761.png
Occurrence data from AVH
  • Acacia floribunda sensu auct.
  • Acacia fragrans Pottier
  • Acacia longissima Chopinet
  • Acacia provincialis A. Camus
  • Acacia retinodes Schltdl. var. floribunda H.Vilm.
  • Acacia retinoide Schltr.
  • Acacia retinoides Schltr.
  • Acacia rhetinoides Schltr.
  • Acacia rostellifera sensu auct.
  • Acacia semperflorens A. Berger

Acacia retinodes is an evergreen shrub that is native to South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Short racemes of yellow flowers are produced periodically throughout the year.[3][4] Some common names are Retinodes water wattle, swamp wattle, wirilda, ever-blooming wattle and silver wattle.[2]


The tree typically grows to a height of 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft)[5] and is able to form suckers. It has furrowed bark with a rough texture that is dark brown to black in colour. It has glabrous branchlets that are sometimes pendulous or angular or flattened at extremities. Like most species of Acacia it has phyllodes rather than true leaves. The green to grey-green, glabrous and variable phyllodes are quite crowded on stems and have a narrowly oblanceolate to oblanceolate to linear shape. The phyllodes are 5 to 16 cm (2.0 to 6.3 in) in length and 3 to 16 mm (0.12 to 0.63 in) wide with one main nerve per face. It mostly blooms in summer between December and February.[6]

Acacia retinodes tree


The species was first formally described by the botanist Diederich Franz Leonhard von Schlechtendal in 1847 as part of the work Sudaustralische Pflanzen. II. Bestimmung und Beschreibung der von Dr Behr in Sudaustralien gesammelten Pflanzen as published in the journal Linnaea: ein Journal für die Botanik in ihrem ganzen Umfange, oder Beiträge zur Pflanzenkunde. It was reclassified as Racosperma retinodes by Leslie Pedley in 2003 then transferred back to genus Acacia in 2007.[7]


  • A. retinodes var. retinodes
  • A. retinodes var. uncifolia


In South Australia it is native to the Mount Lofty Ranges from arounf Mount Clare to Mount Bryan extending down the Fleurieu Peninsula to around Delamere and Normanville in the south and is regarded as a weed further to the south east. It is commonly situated on low ranges and hills as a part of Eucalyptus woodland communities.[6]


It is used for environmental management and for ornamental purposes.[2] It produces good quantities of gum and its bark is good for tanning.[4] It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[8][9] In temperate regions it requires a frost-free sheltered spot with full sun.[10]Indigenous Australians ate the gum, after softening it in water, to relieve chest pains.[11]

The plant is grown as a house plant in temperature climates, where it is resistant to most diseases and pests. It can be grown in almost any well-drained potting soil, but requires ample light and water from spring to summer. Watering should be reduced in the fall and winter. Repotting is generally necessary at the start of each growth season. The plant is usually propagated from seed, but can be propagated from cuttings, though these may take several months to root.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Acacia retinodes". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c ILDIS LegumeWeb
  3. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ a b Internet Archive Select Extra-tropical Plants Readily Eligible for Industrial Culture Or Naturalization By Ferdinand von Mueller
  5. ^ Arthur Lee Jacobson Plant of the Month
  6. ^ a b "Acacia retinodes Schltdl". Wattle - Acacias of Australia. Lucid Central. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Acacia retinodes Schltdl". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Acacia retinodes". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  9. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. November 2018. p. 1. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Acacia retinodes - Wirilda". Adelaide Botanic Garden. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Acacia retinodes Wirilda". Plant Selector. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  12. ^ Chiusoli, Alessandro; Boriani, Luisa Maria (1986). Simon & Schuster's guide to houseplants. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0671631314.

External links