Acacia dealbata

15 Apr

Acacia dealbata flower (25/02/2012, London)

Acacia dealbata flower (25/02/2012, London)

Position: Full sun, will tolerate partial shade.

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Early spring

Eventual Height: 30m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Fabaceae

Acacia dealbata is an evergreen tree with an open habit. The leaves are bi-pinnate, composed of 40-80 hairy, glaucus to silvery leaflets. It bears long terminal racemes composed of fragrant, yellow, spherical flowers from winter to spring. The fruit is a flattened pod containing several seeds.

Acacia dealbata , commonly known as Mimosa or Silver Wattle, is native to New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Australia, and was introduced from Tasmania in 1820. The common name wattle came from the early Australian settlers who would build houses using the ‘wattle and daub’ method. In Italy, Russia and Georgia the flowers are also frequently given to women on International Women’s Day.

Acacia dealbata (25/02/2012, London)

Acacia dealbata (25/02/2012, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Acacia is derived from the Greek akis ’pointed object’ in reference to the thorny nature of a number of plants within this genus. Dealbata is derived from the Latin meaning ‘whitened, whitewashed or plastered’.

Acacia dealbata is useful to the landscape architect as fine foliaged, spring flowering specimen tree. It will hold its foliage all year round and survives in temperate climates.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given  Acacia dealbata their prestigious Award of Garden Merit. The RHS also recommends Acacia dealbata var. subalpina with its exceptionally fine, silver grey, foliage and pale sweet lemon scented flowers.

Acacia dealbata leaf (25/02/2012, London)

Acacia dealbata leaf (25/02/2012, London)

Ecologically, Acacia dealbata will attract pollinating insects with its nectar and pollen.

Acacia dealbata  requires little maintenance. Young acacia specimens may need some formative pruning to grow into well-shaped mature trees. Once the plant matures pruning should be carried out only when needed to remove dead or damaged material. It is best to undertake any pruning in mid-spring (usually April), once the risk of frost has passed.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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