Acacia rigens (Nealie) A fast growing large upright evergreen shrub to 9 to 15 feet tall by 5 to 9 feet wide with nearly vertical stems holding the 1 1/2 to 3 inch long rigid gray narrow rounded leaves (terete phyllodes) that are like blunt needles. In later winter into spring appear the bright yellow quarter inch wide flowerheads with 20 to 30 tiny flowers that are held in groups up to four in the leaf axils.
Plant in full sun in a well-drained light to heavy and even alkaline soils and irrigate occasionally to infrequently - a drought tolerant plant once established and cold hardy down to around 18° F. An attractive and unusual plant that is beautiful in flower and easy to grow. It can be used for a windbreak or light screen and can also grow well as a container plant for several years.
Acacia rigens grows throughout much of Australia from southern Western Australia through South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The name for the genus comes either from the Greek word "akazo" meaning "to sharpen" or from the Egyptian word "akakia", a name given to the Egyptian Thorn, Acacia arabica. The specific epithet is from the Latin word meaning "stiff", "rigid" or "unbending" and thought to be a reference to the rigidity of the phyllodes. Other common names include Needle Wattle and Needlebush Acacia. We thank Jo O'Connell of Australian Native Plant Nursery for introducing us to this wonderful plant and for the picture of it in flower.
Information about Acacia rigens displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.