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Blue Mountains Wildflowers
Acacias & Myrtles
Members of the Mimosoideae subfamily and Myrtaceae family
(wattles, eucalypts and tea-trees).

Acacias: overview - showcase
Myrtles: overview - showcase
Acacias (family Fabaceae; subfamily Mimosoideae)
Sunshine Wattle Sunshine Wattle Acacia terminalis subsp. aurea
There are an estimated 900 species of the Acacia genus in Australia. And this includes the Australian Floral Emblem, the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) - which is not indigenous to the Blue Mountains.

The greater Blue Mountains has over 100 Acacia species.

Although the Acacia genus is by far the largest genus in the Mimosoideae subfamily, PlantNET lists a further nine genera in NSW. Of these only the introduced Crested Wattle (Paraserianthes lophantha subsp. lophantha) is found in the Blue Mountains.


Myrtles (family Myrtaceae)
Blue Mountains Ash Blue Mountains Ash  (Eucalyptus oreades)
There's over 180 species of the Myrtaceae family in the Blue Mountains.

The most prolific genus is the eucalypt or gum tree which has around 100 species. The number of eucalypts commonly includes the Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus genera. Ian Brown's Eucalypts of the Greater Blue Mountains provides an excellent overview.

Next is the Leptospermum genus (Tea-trees) with over 20 species.

In 2000 the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA) was inscribed on the World Heritage list due to its biodiversity - especially its number of eucalypt species.

You will find more information about the GBMWHA here.

Eucalypts have the distinction of giving the Blue Mountains its colour and therefore its name. The blue hue of distant hills is caused by fine droplets of eucalyptus oil in the air.

Note: I find taking photos and identifying eucalypts challenging as I don't have a cherry-picker to get close to their flowers and gumnuts.


Our Acacia Showcase

common name index

botanical name index


* Introduced species (weed)

Sunshine Wattle
Sunshine Wattle

Acacia terminalis
subsp. aurea
Although flowering for all except the summer months, it's in winter when it's at its best - bringing brilliant splashes of yellow to the bush.
This is the main subspecies found in the upper Blue Mountains.
Here's another image.
Sunshine Wattle
Sunshine Wattle

Acacia terminalis
subsp. angustifolia
Its pale yellow flowers distinguishes it from A. terminalis subsp. aurea.
Here's an image showing its leaves.
Here's another image.

NB. The Sunshine Wattle subspecies have been given temporary names while they are reviewed. I have retained the previous name for the present.



Swamp Wattle
Swamp Wattle

Acacia elongata
Its bright yellow flowers and and long leaves with three longitudinal veins helps identify it.
It flowers from late winter into spring.
Here's another image.
Sweet Wattle
Sweet Wattle

Acacia suaveolens
Its sweet fragrance quickly identifies it when in flower.
Its strong red tinged leaves with a mucro at the end also announces it.
Here's another image.
Acacia ptychoclada
Acacia ptychoclada

The terete (long and cylindrical) sparsely hairy leaves with a mucro identifies this acacia, coupled with the white and red hairs on its peduncle (flower stalk).
It flowers in summer and autumn, and is found in swamps and next to watercourses in the Mid to Upper Blue Mountains.
Lunate-leaved Acacia
Lunate-leaved Acacia

Acacia lunata
Brilliant yellow flowers in spring, this wattle is identified by the 3-5 flowers in each globe, and the vein in its dull green leaves being off-centre.
Sydney Golden Wattle
Sydney Golden Wattle

Acacia longifolia
This spring flowering wattle is identified by two dominant veins in its long leaves (up to 20cm), and two or three less conspicuous ones.
Blackwood
Blackwood

Acacia melanoxylon
A medium size tree - growing to 30 metres, it is identified by the 3-5 or more longitudinal veins on its leaves.
Hedgehog Wattle
Hedgehog Wattle

Acacia echinula
By far the most prickly of similar species, this, and its brighter flowers and more pungent pointed leaves identify it.
Its phyllodes can be terete (cylindrical) or 4-angled as shown here.
It flowers from winter into spring.
Prickly Moses
Prickly Moses

Acacia ulicifolia
Earlier flowering (from April) and paler flowers helps identify Prickly Moses.
On closer inspection it has a marked gland angle and longer stipules.
Ploughshare Wattle
Ploughshare Wattle

Acacia gunnii
The smaller triangular leaves (around 5mm) help identify this little wattle.
It flowers from winter into spring.
Spike Wattle
Spike Wattle

Acacia oxycedrus
A small tree, with very sharp broad leaves. Stunning when in flower in early spring.
This image shows its opening buds and leaves.
Kangaroo Thorn
Kangaroo Thorn

Acacia paradoxa
Also called Hedge Wattle and was previously A. armata. Its thorns and leaves readily identify it.
This plant was found in Wollemi National Park.
Myrtle Wattle
Myrtle Wattle

Acacia myrtifolia
Flowering in late winter, it is identified by its broad red edged leaves. It is also known as the Red-stemmed Wattle.
This image shows its opening buds and red stem.
Acacia asparagoides
Acacia asparagoides


This small prickly plant is identified by its very short peduncles (stalks). It is an uncommon species and is only found in the Upper and mid Blue Mountains.
Its flowers are 10mm across and phyllodes (leaves) up to 15mm in length.
Here's another image and another.
Crested Wattle
Crested Wattle

Paraserianthes lophantha
subsp. lophantha
Introduced species (weed)
A native of Western Australia, the Crested Wattle is a tree to 8m in height.
Its leaves disguise it as a local native wattle, but its true identify is revealed when in flower.
Gordon's Wattle
Gordon's Wattle

Acacia gordonii
This endangered species is recognised by its bright yellow globular flowers. Its bunched leaves are different to Acacia echinula, and its longer peduncles (stalks) distinguishes it from Acacia baueri.
It is mainly found in the lower Blue Mountains. Here's another image.
Rush-leaved Wattle
Rush-leaved Wattle

Acacia junifolia
Its long slender "reaching for the sky" leaves and dark yellow flowers highlight this acacia.
An often prominent longitudinal vein on its hairless leaves helps identify it.
Three-veined Wattle
Three-veined Wattle

Acacia trinervata
The three veins on its pungent pointed leaves identifies it.
It is mainly found in the lower Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury/Colo region.
Here's another image.
Cedar Wattle
Cedar Wattle

Acacia elata
The Cedar Wattle is a tall tree with dark brown rough bark.
The first set of its distinctive pinnate leaves are smaller than the rest.
It has a gland half way along its leaf stalk. This gland is known as a nectary and its nectar attracts pollinators.


Our Myrtle Showcase

common name index

botanical name index

Eucalyptus genus

Scribbly Gum
Scribbly Gum

Eucalyptus racemosa
This species of the unmistakable Scribbly Gum is common in the Blue Mountains.
Here's an image of its distinctive bark and another. The scribbles are made by the Scribbly Gum Moth.
Silver-top Ash
Silver-top Ash

Eucalyptus sieberi
Identified by its red branchlets and the veins of its leaves, this spring flowering eucalypt also has a purple ring around the edge of each flower.
Here's an image of its gum nuts.
Blue Mountains Ash
Blue Mountains Ash

Eucalyptus oreades
Magnificent! Its tall white trunk identifies it - together with the strips of bark around its base.
A photo can't capture its grandeur.
Here's an image showing its base.

Leptospermum genus

Woolly Tea-tree
Woolly Tea-tree

Leptospermum lanigerum
Very similar description to L. grandifolium. However, I believe the specimen shown here is L. lanigerum due to its very silky sepals and shorter leaves - many less than 10mm.
Pink Tea-tree
Pink Tea-tree

Leptospermum squarrosum
Similar in description to several species, but its larger flowers (up to 20mm) differentiates it.
It also flowers in Autumn, which helps identify it. But to confuse matters, it also flowers in Spring.
Tantoon
Tantoon

Leptospermum polygalifolium
Also known as the Lemon-scented Tea-tree due to the lemony fragrance of its crushed leaves.
Oil dots can be readily seen on its leaves.
It produces a mass of flowers in early summer.
Woolly Tea-tree
Paperbark Tea-tree

Leptospermum trinervium
Characterised by its paperbark bark, it's a small tree that flowers in late spring/early summer.
The flowers are 10-15mm across.
Here's another image that shows its pubescent (soft covering of soft weak hairs) new growth - both branches and leaves.
Prickly Tea-tree
Prickly Tea-tree

Leptospermum juniperinum
This shrub is identified by its prickly leaves - its new growth is not prickly and has long appressed hairs.
The leaves and flowers are held very tightly to the branches - as this image shows.
The 10mm flowers appear in late spring.
Spider Tea-tree
Spider Tea-tree

Leptospermum arachnoides
Being prickly it can be confused with L. juniperinum, however there are several marked distinctions -
  it has rough bark;
   leaves are occasionally twisted;
  each flower is at the end of a branchlet, and has a rosette of leaves.
Small Leaf Tea-tree
Small Leaf Tea-tree

Leptospermum parvifolium
A small variety of tea-tree (up to 2m high) whose leaves are less than 1cm long and whose petals are barely 5mm.

other species in the Myrtaceae family

Common Fringe-myrtle
Common Fringe-myrtle

Calytrix tetragona
The thread coming from the tip of each of the five sepals is known as an awn. The petals are about 5mm in length.
This is the only Calytrix species found in the greater Blue Mountains and its form can vary.
Darwinia taxifolia
Darwinia taxifolia

Darwinia taxifolia
The two patches of Darwinia taxifolia I have found in the upper Blue Mountains, are on the most exposed terrain possible.
This hardy plant flowers in winter and spring.
Pink Buttons
Pink Buttons

Kunzea capitata
Kunzeas are distinguished from Tea Trees by the long style coming from the centre of the flower. K. capitata is differentiated from K. parvifolia by its longer leaves - 4-9mm versus 1-4mm.
Here's a white form.
Weeping Baeckea
Weeping Baeckea

Baeckea linifolia
The 5mm wide flowers appear in summer.
The shrub is up to 2 metres high and its weeping form distinguishes it.
Here's another image.
Tick Bush
Tick Bush

Kunzea ambigua
Five Kunzea species are found in the Blue Mountains. The Tick Bush's white flowers along its branches, and short leaf stalk help identify it.
Here's another image.
Turpentine
Turpentine

Syncarpia glomulifera
Looks like a eucalypt except for its distinctive leaves.
Turpentine piles were used in the wharves of Sydney and London.
Here's another image.
Heath Myrtle
Heath Myrtle

Baeckea imbricata
Its 3-5mm circular leaves and 5-7 stamens distinguish it from B. brevifolia which has narrower leaves and 10+ stamens.
Here's another image.
Crimson Bottlebrush
Crimson Bottlebrush

Callistemon citrinus
While many bottlebrush species in the Blue Mountains are a creamy colour, the brilliant red of this species makes it a stand-out. Its crushed leaves have a lemony fragrance.
Megalong Valley Bottlebrush
Megalong Valley Bottlebrush

Callistemon megalongensis
This endangered species is only found in the Megalong Valley. Its pink colour helps identify it.
Here's another image.
Water Gum
Water Gum

Tristania neriifolia
The 15mm wide bright yellow flowers and dark green lance shaped leaves helps identify the Water Gum.
The underneath of the leaves is much lighter. The Water Gum grows along side streams.
Here's another image.
Rosy Baeckea
Rosy Baeckea

Euryomyrtus ramosissima subsp. ramosissima
This small plant was formerly Baeckea ramosissima, its white to deep pink round petals are 4mm across.
Its long flower stalk helps identify it.
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