A shrub or small tree to 20 ft high, glabrous in all its parts, with angular branchlets. Phyllodes rather thin in texture, with a single main-vein and inconspicuous side-veins, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, 21⁄2 to 5 in. long, 1⁄8 to 3⁄5 in. wide, tapered at the base, usually somewhat curved at the blunt or pointed apex. Flowers pale yellow, in small globular heads, borne six to twelve together in short axillary racemes; the phyllodes on the floral part of the shoots are sometimes shed, giving to it the appearance of a panicle of blossom. Pods up to 7 in. long, not constricted between the seeds. Bot. Mag., t. 9177.
Native of Tasmania, Victoria, and S. Australia. From its habit of flowering off and on throughout the year it is in Australia sometimes called the four seasons wattle; even in this country flowers are borne from early spring into autumn. It is not one of the showiest acacias, but the combination of grey-green leaves and soft-yellow flowers is attractive; it is reputed to be one of the hardiest and is tolerant of lime. It grows well on a garden wall at Malahide Castle near Dublin. At Binstead, Isle of Wight, it reached 20 ft.
A. pycnantha Benth. Golden Wattle. – A shrub or small tree to 25 ft. Phyllodes leathery but flexible, usually curved, 3 to 8 in. long, 1⁄3 to 13⁄4 in. wide. Flowers golden yellow, fragrant, in large heads arranged racemosely. Native of S. and E. Australia, absent from Tasmania. It reached 20 ft in N. Ireland and survived the winter of 1962-3 at the Slieve Donard nurseries, Co. Down. In Australia it is one of the showiest acacias but needs, perhaps, more summer heat and sun than our climate provides; if tried, it should be given a warm wall and is perhaps best planted in rather poor, sandy soil. It is very eucalyptus-like in its foliage.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
It should have been stated that the specific epithet derives from the Greek word for resin – rhetine – and not from the Latin retina (net).