Acacia paradoxa

Kangaroo acacia

Family: Fabaceae

Origin: Australia

Kangaroo Acacia branches with seed pods.
A perennial shrub growing up to 3m tall. Originating from Australia it survives in hot and dry conditions.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Aotea — Progressive containment
  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial shrub < 3 m tall. Leaves are < 18 x 8 mm and reduced to phyllodes. Spines are stiff and < 1 cm long. Flowers are yellow and borne in inflorescences in July – October. Seedpods are < 60 x 4 mm.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell kangaroo acacia within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant kangaroo acacia within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any kangaroo acacia on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Auckland Council will manage kangaroo acacia at all sites within the Aotea/Great Barrier Island group where it is known to occur.

If you see kangaroo acacia anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at


Open or disturbed sites, roadsides, farms, scrubland, banks, coastal areas, forest margins, wastelands.


Seeds dispersed by gravity, pods possibly dispersed by water movement. Human-mediated dispersal through deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Forms dense stands, potentially excluding native vegetation. Nitrogen fixer. May alter soil fertility, nutrient cycling dynamics and plant community compositions.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group. Please report to Auckland Council if seen on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel.

Large stems can be frilled and pasted with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base of stems with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Safety notes

Plant has spines.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Kangaroo Acacia stems covered in flowers.
Stems are covered in large thorns and leaves are small to prevent animal browsing. Produces seeds in pods that open in the heat.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Kangaroo Acacia growing with native plants.
Can survive in poor soils and highly disturbed areas. Can be found on roadsides, wastelands, and edges of forests.
Kangaroo Acacia branches covered in flowers.
Prolific flowering shrub producing masses of yellow flowers. Seed pods are hairy and brown.