It is a fast growing evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 30 m tall, typically a pioneer species after fire. The leaves are bipinnate, glaucous blue-green to silvery grey, 1–12 cm (occasionally to 17 cm) long and 1–11 cm broad, with 6–30 pairs of pinnae, each pinna divided into 10–68 pairs of leaflets; the leaflets are 0.7–6 mm long and 0.4–1 mm broad. The flowers are produced in large racemose inflorescences made up of numerous smaller globose bright yellow flowerheads of 13–42 individual flowers. The fruit is a flattened pod 2–11.5 cm long and 6–14 mm broad, containing several seeds. Trees generally do not live longer than 30 to 40 years, after which they are replaced by other species.
There are two subspecies:
It is a good furniture species, but with limited utilisation, mainly in craft furniture and turning. Beautiful, honey colour, often with distinctive figures like birdseye and tiger stripes. Medium weight (540–720 kg/m³). Glues satisfactorily, dresses well. Similar to Blackwood.
It is the florist's "Mimosa". The flowers are also frequently given to women on International Women's Day.
It has been analyzed as containing less than 0.02% alkaloids.