A very polymorphic species[
]. It hybridises with several other members of this genus, especially with species in the Acacia verniciflua complex[
Classification of the genus Acacia (in the wider sense) has been subject to considerable debate. It is generally agreed that there are valid reasons for breaking it up into several distinct genera, but disagreement in the way this should be done. Some authorities have wanted to transfer this species to the genus Racosperma, but the latest decision (in 2011 and still not fully accepted) is that it remains in Acacia[
Acacia armata R.Br.
Acacia microcantha A.Dietr.
Acacia ornithophora Sweet
Acacia tristis Graham
Mimosa armata (R.Br.) Poir.
Common Name: Kangaroo Thorn
Acacia paradoxa is an erect or spreading, thorny, evergreen shrub that can grow 1 - 4 metres tall[
]. Although it produces leaves as a seedling, llike most members of the genus the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is grown as an ornamental, and can be used as a hedge.
The plant is naturalized in the United States and is invasive in South Africa. It invades exposed erosion slopes, valleys, pine plantations, agricultural lands and fynbos. Its dense growth may potentially reduce the abundance of native species. The seeds are dispersed by ants, they tolerate diverse environmental conditions and have the potential to colonise the land[
Australia - Southern Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
Grows in dry sclerophyl forests[
]. Usually grows in woodland or open forest[
]. Found in a wide range of habitats, growing in various soil types[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Acacia paradoxa is found in the temperate and subtropical areas of Australia. It is able to withstand occasional and short-lived frosts, tolerating temperatures occasionally falling to between -5 and -10°c so long as the weather is fairly dry[
Apart from its sensitivity to cold, this is a very tough plant that stands both wet and drought well, it is lime-tolerant and also withstands salt-laden winds[
]. Prefers a sandy loam and a very sunny position[
]. Succeeds in dry soils. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is not excessively limey[
]. Most members of this genus become chlorotic when grown on limey soils[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Flowers - cooked[
]. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters.
Plants are heavily armed with thorns and make a good screen or hedge in warm temperate areas[
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[
A green dye is obtained from the seed pods[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse[
]. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring. The seed germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c[
]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, mid summer in individual pots in a frame[
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage[