Acacia glaucoptera

Common name: 'Flat Wattle' or 'Clay Wattle'


Acacia glaucoptera in flower in Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Acacia - from the Greek word 'akis' meaning 'a sharp point'.

glaucoptera - glaucous meaning 'blue/green, grey' and pteron meaning 'wing' (refers to the phyllodes on Acacias).


A. glaucoptera is an attractive, small shrub with a rounded, spreading habit growing to approximately 1.5 m high and 2-3 m wide. Instead of leaves this species has phyllodes, which are modified leaf stalks that perform all the functions of a leaf. The phyllodes are in the form of flattened, opposite triangular wings, each one extending to the next below, usually 2.5-7 cm long and 0.6-2 cm wide. Phyllodes are continuous along the stems and blue-green in colour with new growth showing purple-red. From late winter to early summer, golden yellow globular flowers arise close to and along the stems where there are notches on the phyllodes.


This species naturally grows in clay and gravelly lateritic soils in woodland, tall shrubland and Mallee communities of south-west Western Australia. Refer to the distribution map for this species via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.

Flowering Season

August to November


Propagation is from using scarified seed. It is recommended to re-plant every 3-4 years to ultimately replace older plants that may be looking tired with dead wood marring appearance. Judicious pruning after flowering may overcome this problem, especially removal of any dead or dying branches. This species prefers full sun to part shade aspect and good drainage is essential. Once established, little water is required.


Grown for its ornamental foliage, this very attractive small shrub looks great all year round even when not in flower. Its unique look and flush of purple-red new growth will create contrast in the garden.

View in Kings Park

Acacia glaucoptera can be seen growing outside the Acacia toilet block, near Aspects of Kings Park. They are also planted at the entrance to the Western Australian Botanic Garden and near the Acacia steps.

Acacia glaucoptera in flower from August to November in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer. Acacia glaucoptera in flower near Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop. Photo: D. Blumer.