Ahhh the river wattle, flopping about just like a willow 😉 Acacia cognata surely must be the weepiest and most cultivated of wattles, it is being remade and re branded everywhere! and for good reason too. Acacia cognata has a weeping habit like no other and creates a soft gentle screen or eye catching feature tree wherever it is planted.

It will happily grow in shade or full sun, clay or sandy soil, but it does like protection from strong winds and can turn up its toes if the humidity is too high.

Left to its own devices it will get to about 6 metres high x 4 metres wide, but can be pruned to shape. In the image above it has been under-pruned to allow for a bench seat under its canopy.

Like most wattles its flowers in winter with small, pale yellow flower spikes which attract the bees but are largely hidden in its branches of long leaves.

Birds are attracted to its seeds, especially the parrot species, in the image above you can see a pair of  Rosellas perching on lookout.

And this is another dwarf variety of Acacia cognata, Acacia ‘Bower Beauty’, because we can’t get enough 😉

Acacia cognata ‘Bower Beauty’ grows to around 70cm high by 1 metre wide, it has a slight kink in the leaf a little bit like Acacia cognata ‘Fettucine’.

Like its parent, Acacia cognate, ‘Bower Beauty’ will happily grow in shade to full sun, making it an incredibly useful shrub for difficult dark corners and understory positions.

I like to combine Acacia cognata Dwarf species with silver leaved shrubs like Rhagodia ‘Silver Border’ and Eremophila ‘Nivea’, to really set of the lime and grey contrast.

So even though they are everywhere, there is good reason for their use and I find they are one of my go to plants for creating an interesting mixture of texture and colour in a garden bed without having to rely on flowers.





13 responses to “The weepiest of them all: Acacia cognata”

  1. Jill Raymond

    I would like to acquire up to 12 of these larger tree form of Acacia Cognata. They are difficult to find as everyone is looking for the smaller varieties. Can you please advise where I might get these please? I would rather buy them in a larger size than tube stock if possible. I live near Albury. Thank you so much, Jill

    1. Angela S.

      Jill, if you’re still looking, Peards Wodonga have these in stock in their $3 tubestock range. I purchased one last weekend.

  2. Ros Gates

    I live in port Lincoln SA.
    Do you know if I can buy a couple of these in my my local area?
    Regards -Ros

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Ros,

      Sorry for the late response. You could try calling some of your local nurseries to see if they stock it but you might have to buy it online. I know wildtech online nursery stock A. cognata (https://www.wildtechnursery.com.au/), they are based in Victoria. Australian plants online (https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/, QLD) and the native plant project (https://nativeplantproject.com.au/, VIC) have a Burgandy cascade version, with maroon tones throughout the leaves.


    2. Kath Gadd

      Oh and I just remembered, Native plant wholesales is based in SA and they grow lots of great native plants. You could try contacting them and asking who their suppliers are in case there’s one near you

  3. Shane

    Hi, I’m having trouble sourcing these in Brisbane. One nursery said they couldn’t recommend them for the climate – is this true? I have a cooler, shaded spot by a creek in mind.

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Shane,

      I’m not familiar with Brisbane nurseries, but Acacia cognata should do fine in Brisbane area if its in a cooler shady place like you’re planning. There might be a couple of online nurseries where you purchase A. cognata by mail order, I know Australian Plants Online sell a few varieties: https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/catalogsearch/result/?q=acacia+cognata

      Goodluck 🙂

  4. Sue

    Hi, I am located on the Gold Coast. Are these something that would survive in our part of the world? I am looking at planting them in a northerly aspect that does get a fair bit of sun through the day. I am happy to travel up to Sunshine Coast or down tom NSW (once border restrictions are lifted), but haven’t found anywhere that I can source the likes of Acacia Lime Magik. Any ideas please?

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Sue,

      You could try https://fairhill.com.au they are under new ownership and I have been hearing promising things!

      Best Wishes,


  5. Josie

    Hi Kath,

    Thank you for your wonderful blog packed full of information. Do you know if Acacia ‘Burgundy Cascade’ can be coppiced? I have a spot I’d like to put one that is only about a metre wide and wondering if I can keep it looking good (and not too dense).

    Many thanks!

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Josie,

      Sounds like ‘Burgundy Cascade’ isn’t quite the right plant for your spot. It gets 2m wide, is dense (especially if pruned back) and wouldn’t be a good candidate for coppcing. Hopefully you can find some more inspiration on the blog!


  6. I live in an apartment complex and acacia cognata’s have been left un-pruned for 5 years. The plants were densely planted and have no foliage for about 1.5 meters and then not very dense foliage on top as they are all competing for space. I live in Perth. How should these be pruned and will they die. The height of the trees reach 2 stories. They are beautiful but have blocked the sun for other plants. Is it ok to cut these back, do we need to leave foliage for photosynthesis? We don’t want to loose them but at the moment the trees are dying and so is our garden. There are about 15 in a relatively small narrow area.

  7. Wendy Ruback

    How do I purchase 2 advanced weeping willows to be delivered to Bundaberg Queensland?

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