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Acacia the Australian Wattle
ACACIA (aka’sha). Botanic name of the Australian Wattles, of which there are over 400 species, differing greatly in size, form, and foliage, but mostly yellow flowered – cream and lemon to deep golden. Foliage is fern-like, to oval (phyllodes) and spiky. Best of the decorative species for garden use are A. Baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle), A. podalyriaefolia (Queensland W.) , both Australian winter flowering, giving a long succession. The Cedar Wattle (A. elata) is long-lived and tall (30 feet) with beautiful green ferny foliage and creamy blossoms, and one of the quickest growers. Of the others, Golden Rain (A. prominens), Mudgee (A. spectablis), Coastal Myall (A. glaucescens, borer resisting) and A. accolta all make nice garden trees and shrubs. Propagated mostly by seeds which are very hard and need soaking in hot water before sowing. Most varieties (except elata) benefit by pruning after blooming. Watch for borers. Our own A. dealbata (silver wattle) is the ”Mimosa” of Southern France’s cultivated areas, sold in Britain for decoration.
Confusion of the name Acacia is caused by another tree (a notorious suckerer), Robina; up to 60 feet, being known as Acacia – or false Acacia. All climates (except A. podalyriaefolia).
Acacia Varieties recommended for gardeners are:
- A. Baileyana, 20-ft.
- A. Podalyriaef olia, 20-ft. Winter flowering.
- A. elata, 30-ft. Ce.da r Wattle. Summer flowering.
- A. mollissima, 20-f t. Soft Black Wattle. Summer flowering.
- A. accola, 20-ft. (a lovely variety). Early Spring.
- A. cyanophylla, 12-ft., drooping foliage. Spring.
- A. prominens, 1 o-f t. Golden Rain Wattle. Spring.
- A. spectabilis, I o-ft. Mudgee Wattle. Spring.
- A. dealbata, 30-ft. Silver Wattle, or ”Mimosa.” Winter.
- A. decurrens var. normalis, 30-ft. Queens Wattle of N.S.W. Summer.
All wattles are evergreen.