Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Acacia verticillata (L’Hér.) Willd.

Shrub or small tree with downy shoots, spine-tipped phyllodes in whorls of about 6 and bright yellow flowers in cylindrical spikes in late winter and spring.  To 3m or more.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers', FNSW].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Considered a highly desirable garden specimen by Johnson’s Dictionary.  Introduced to Britain from Van Dieman’s Land in 1780.  [JD]. 

‘The radical leaves of plants usually differ in shape from those of the stalk, in some plants remarkably so; the Lepidium perfoliatum figured in the Flora Austriaca of Professor Jacquin is a striking instance of this dissimilarity: the Lathyrus Aphaca, a British plant, figured in the Flora Lond. is still more such, as large entire leaf-like stipulae grow in pairs on the stalk, instead of leaves, while the true leaves next the root, visible when the plant first comes up from seed, are few in number, and those pinnated.  The present plant no less admirably illustrates the above remark, the leaves which first appear on the seedling plants being pinnated, as is represented in the small figure on the plate, while those which afterwards come forth grow in whorls.  We have observed the same disposition to produce dissimilar leaves in several other species of Mimosa, which have arisen from Botany-Bay seeds, lately introduced.  This singular species, on the authority of Mr. David Nelson, is a native of New South Wales, and was introduced to the royal garden at Kew by Sir Joseph Banks, Bart.  We first saw it in flower, and have since seen it with ripe seed-pods, at Mr. Malcolm’s, Kennington.  It is properly a green-house plant, and propagated only by seeds, which are to be sown on a gentle hot-bed.  It is some years in arriving at its flowering state.’  [BM t.110/1790].

History at Camden Park

Acacia verticillata is marked with an ‘x’ in an 1836 edition of Loddiges’ catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  The meaning of this is uncertain but plants growing at Camden were marked with a ‘c’ in the same catalogue many plants marked with an ‘x’ subsequently appeared in lists of desiderata to Loddiges’.  This plant doesn’t occur in the wild in the Sydney and Camden region but only grows south of the Eden district in far south NSW.  It is possible that William Macarthur was familiar with this plant through Van Dieman’s Land contacts but may not have seen a living plant.


Acacia verticillata Sieber ex Benth. (1864) = Acacia juniperina (Vent.) Willd.

Published Dec 26, 2009 - 01:20 PM | Last updated Aug 05, 2011 - 08:51 AM

Shown are spine-tipped phyllodes and bright yellow flowers in cylindrical spikes.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.110, 1790.

Acacia verticillata (L’Hér.) Willd. | BM t.110/1790 | BHL


Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

South eastern Australia including Tasmania

  • Mimosa verticillata L’Hér.
  • Racosperma verticillata (L’Hér.) Martius


Common Name

Star-leaved acacia, Whorl-leaved acacia, Prickly moses

Name in the Camden Park Record

Acacia verticillata 

Confidence level high