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Acacia verticillata – Prickly Moses

Acacia verticillata (Prickly Moses) is a shrub which grows to a height of 6 metres. It has a hardiness rating of 8. Prickly Moses will flower in August to November. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by insects. 







6 metres


Australia - New South Wales, Tasmania

Prickly Moses Growing Guide

Ideal Planting Conditions

Prickly Moses will grow in light (sandy), medium (loamy), hard (clay) soil. It is important for the soil to be well drained. Prickly Moses prefers either dry or moist soils and should not be planted in shady areas.

Prickly Moses Cultivation Details

Prefers a sandy loam and a very sunny position. Another report says that it needs some shade. Succeeds in dry soils. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is not excessively limey. Most members of this genus become chlorotic on limey soils.

They tolerate occasional temperatures down to between -5 and -10°C, but even in the mildest areas of the country they are likely to be killed in excessively harsh winters. A tree in Cornwall reached a height and width of 6 metres.

A fast-growing tree, frequently flowering in a few years from seed. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. 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 utilised by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Edible Uses for Prickly Moses*

* See disclaimer

Flowers - cooked. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters.

Acacia verticillata Propagation

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 March.

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, July/August 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.

Scented Parts of the Plants

Root: Crushed

Other Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods. Plants are heavily armed with thorns and make a good screen or hedge in warm temperate areas.


  • Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Author: Bean. W.
  • The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. Author: Huxley. A.

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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