Acacia ulicifolia

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General Plant Info

Acacia ulicifolia, commonly know as "Prickly Moses", is a small to medium shrub which may reach 3 metres in height but is usually smaller. The name refers to the gorse (genus Ulex) like foliage. There are maritime (low, compact habit), slender phyllode and hairy phyllode variants.

In A.ulicifolia the phyllodes are narrow, rigid and spine-like to 20 mm long with a sharp point.

The white or cream flowers occur in globular-shaped clusters from the axils of the phyllodes. Flowering is mainly in winter and spring.[1] Usually grows in sand (often over sandstone), in heath or dry sclerophyll woodland or open forest.

In central eastern N.S.W. there is intergradation of Acacia asparagoides, A. brownii, A. echinula and A. ulicifolia, with the possibility of hybridization.

Geographic distribution

Occurs in the Great Divide of eastern Australia from the Grampians, Vic., through N.S.W. and A.C.T. to the Blackdown Tablelands and Ravenshoe in Qld; also NE Tas.



Decumbent to erect shrub 0.5–2 m high; bark smooth, grey; branchlets ± terete, at first sparsely to densely hairy. Stipules subulate, 1–2 mm long.[2]

Phyllodes ± rigid, ± straight, terete or 4-angled, 0.8–1.5 cm long, 1–2 mm wide, glabrous, midvein prominent and slightly towards the upper margin, apex pungent-pointed; 1 obscure gland along margin; pulvinus obscure.

Inflorescences simple, 1 in axil of phyllodes; peduncles 5–15 mm long, usually glabrous; heads globose, 15–35-flowered, 4–10 mm diam., pale yellow to ± white.

Pods ± curved, ± flat, usually slightly constricted between seeds, 2–6 cm long, 3–5 mm wide, thinly leathery, often brittle with age, smooth to obscurely wrinkled, glabrous; seeds longitudinal; funicle filiform, short.

Alkaloid content


Other uses

It is a useful plant which is effective as an informal hedge where its prickly habit can deter access to particular areas and provide refuge for small birds.


The plant is suited to a wide range of soil types provided they are reasonably well drained. A position in full sun or light shade is suitable and the species is tolerant of at least moderate frosts.

Propagation: From scarified seed or boiling water treatment.[3]

• Suitable for areas of low maintenence (eg. road batters).

• Frost hardy (will tolerate frosts to -7 C )

• Recommended for its foliage.

• Suitable hedge or screen plant.





  1. Australian Native Plants Society
  2. PlantNET
  3. Australian National Botanic Gardens