Acacia genistifolia is a small to medium shrub which may reach 3 metres in height. Like most members of the genus, the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes. In A.genistifolia the phyllodes are narrow and rigid, about 15-30 mm long with a sharp point. The cream or pale yellow flowers occur in globular-shaped clusters from the axils of the phyllodes. Flowering may occur over a long period from late summer to spring.
A.genistifolia is not often cultivated and there are probably more colourful species for use in the garden. However, 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 is relatively easy by normal seed raising methods following pretreatment by soaking in boiling water or by scarification. Cuttings may be also be successful.
Photo: Bruce Maslin