Acacia ataxacantha is a many-stemmed shrub up to 3-5m in height, often scrambling. It may on occasion form a small tree. Young stems are fairly smooth on which numerous unpaired, hooked prickles up to 8mm are borne. The foliage is generally dark green and fairly dense, with the new growth often purple-tinged. Protect from frost when young.
It is quite often found on floodplains where it can form impenetrable thickets.