Acacia redolens
Common Name: black cat claw 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Western Australia
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in dry, well-draining sandy clays or loams in full sun. Will tolerate moderately moist soil as long as there is good drainage. Suitable for use in alkaline, poor, or saline soils. Tolerant of heat and drought once established. In desert climates, provide supplemental irrigation during the summer for the fastest, most vigorous growth. Does not respond well to heavy pruning, but light pruning may be done in spring after flowering. Hardy in Zones 9-11.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acacia redolens, commonly called prostrate acacia or black cat claw, is a woody, evergreen shrub native to the coast of southwestern Australia where it can be found growing on the margins of saline lakes, and other areas with salty or alkaline soil. Mature plants can reach up to 6' tall and 20' wide with a spreading to sprawling, densely branched growth habit. The leaf-like phyllodes (modified leaf stems) are lanceolate to narrowly elliptic and can reach up to 2" long and 0.5" wide. The globular flower heads can reach up to 0.25" wide, are made up of 20-30 tiny, yellow flowers. The flowers heads bloom in spring along the stems from the phyllode axils. The flowers are followed by small, inconspicuous seed pods.

Genus name come from the Greek name for Acacia arabica.

The specific epithet redolens means "fragrant", in reference to the sweet, vanilla-like odor emitted from the stems and other tissues of this plant. The smell is particularly evident during hot weather.


No major pest or disease problems of note. Poorly drained and overly wet soil may lead to crown or root rot.


Xeriscaping, rock gardens, slopes, berms. Suitable for use as a tall ground cover and for erosion control.