Leafless Rock Wattle
One of the most interesting of all of the native wattles is Acacia aphylla. It has the trademark yellow flowers we find on many wattle trees; however, it is strikingly different in growth habits.
Commonly called the ‘Leafless Rock Wattle‘, it is found around Perth. This is a spiny, spiky-looking plant; however, it is actually soft to the touch.
Grown as an architectural or foliage plant, it could be more widely used in landscaping where it has year-round interest. This is actually a succulent and is adapted to extremely harsh conditions.
The term aphylla means ‘with no leaves’ and is a beautiful wattle when in flower. Prune hard every 2-3 years or Acacia aphylla will start to look a little leggy.
Leafless Rock Wattle Care
The Leafless Rock Wattle requires excellent drainage. It has flower-like little yellow balls that cover this fascinating plant in spring.
These plants can be pruned after flowering, and pruning can be harsh, to around 30cm from the ground.
Regrowth will commence in a month or two, and in 8 months the new foliage will be an attraction in the garden.
Propagation of Leafless Rock Wattle
Usually propagated from seed, the seed is scarified using boiling water and left to soak. Germination rates are good; however, young plants are subject to ‘damping off’, so a good draining propagation mix is essential.
On germination, the plant will produce juvenile leaves. These will soon disappear and the modified structure will take over.
- Botanical name – Acacia aphylla
- Common names – Leafless Rock Wattle, Leafless Wattle, Twisted Wattle and Live Wire
- Height – Will reach around 3m in height
- Spread – To around 2m
- Growth rate – Medium to Fast
- Soil – Well drained
- Position – Best in full sun
- Foliage – No foliage as we know it. The foliage is actually modified to appear as stems.
- Flowers – Yellow
- Flowering period – Spring
- Frost tolerance – Light frosts only
- Drought tolerance – Very drought tolerant
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