Botanical name: Acacia
Botanical name: Acacia
Acacias are very diverse, and many species have been useful to humans for thousands of years. These species have been used for tanning processes, construction, and furniture. The hardened sap (acacia gum) found in some species is used in watercolor painting, ceramic glazes, and fireworks. Both the Bible and ancient Egyptian proverbs mention the usefulness of acacias' wood.
Species of Acacias
Cooba is a fast-growing tree that can reach up to 9 m in height. It has slender, willow-like leaves and produces fragrant, pale yellow flowers in the spring. The tree is highly adaptable and is often used in landscaping for erosion control and as a windbreak. Additionally, its hard, durable wood is used for furniture, flooring, and decorative items.
Western prickly moses
It has feathery, bipinnate leaves with leaflets up to 5 mm long. At the base of each leaf is one or two spines. The flower heads are bright yellow and spherical, with a diameter of up to 1 cm.
Clay wattle are very diverse, and many species have been useful to humans for thousands of years. These species have been used for tanning processes, construction, and furniture. The hardened sap (acacia gum) found in some species is used in watercolor painting, ceramic glazes, and fireworks. Both the Bible and ancient Egyptian proverbs mention the usefulness of clay wattle' wood.
Flinder's range wattle
Flinder's range wattle are very diverse, and many species have been useful to humans for thousands of years. These species have been used for tanning processes, construction, and furniture. The hardened sap (acacia gum) found in some species is used in watercolor painting, ceramic glazes, and fireworks. Both the Bible and ancient Egyptian proverbs mention the usefulness of flinder's range wattle' wood.
Fringed wattle are very diverse, and many species have been useful to humans for thousands of years. These species have been used for tanning processes, construction, and furniture. The hardened sap (acacia gum) found in some species is used in watercolor painting, ceramic glazes, and fireworks. Both the Bible and ancient Egyptian proverbs mention the usefulness of fringed wattle' wood.
Graceful wattle (Acacia decora) is a hardy species and worthwhile addition to many gardens. It provides low-level cover for stock in windbreaks and it improves soil fertility by fixing nitrogen. The pretty yellow flowers are a good pollen source for birds and native insects.
Northern wattle are very diverse, and many species have been useful to humans for thousands of years. These species have been used for tanning processes, construction, and furniture. The hardened sap (acacia gum) found in some species is used in watercolor painting, ceramic glazes, and fireworks. Both the Bible and ancient Egyptian proverbs mention the usefulness of northern wattle' wood.
Acacia heterophylla occurs in humid tropical forests of Réunion island in the Indian Ocean. It's locally abundant and it's often used as wood, but its ornamental value is important as well. Various types of bees are attracted to the nectar of highland tamarind.
Koa (Acacia koa) is a large flowering tree that is part of the legume family. It is endemic to Hawaii. The trunk of the tree has traditionally been used by indigenous peoples to build vessels similar to dugout canoes and surfboards. In the Hawaiian language, the word "koa" means "brave" or "bold."
Cedar wattle (Acacia terminalis) brings sunshine to gardens when other flowers are hiding from the cold. Its pretty yellow flowers feature an unusually long flowering time through the colder months. Butterflies, seed-eating birds, bees, and other insects are attracted to this plant.
Cootamundra wattle (Acacia baileyana) is a large evergreen shrub or small tree that will grow from 6 to 9 m tall. It has a wide canopy and weeping branches. Its feathery foliage emerges in different shades of purple changing to bluish gray as they mature. Blooms in spring with fragrant golden-yellow flowers. Thrives in full sun with moist well-drained soil.
Wedge-leaf wattle (Acacia pravissima) is native to New South Wales, Australia, but has spread to neighboring states, where it threatens the local flora. Because of its interesting foliage and masses of yellow flowers, it is a popular ornamental. It does best when planted in moist soil in a sheltered spot.
Golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is a tree that is a part of the legume family; it is native to southeastern Australia and is the official floral emblem of the country. The bark of the tree is high in tannins and has been cultivated for this compound. The yellow flowers are cross-pollinated by some species of nectar-eating birds.
A member of the pea family, black wattle is a flowering tree. The timber of this tree is frequently used for furniture making, and the tree itself is often used for reforestation projects. This tree grows larger near the equator but will not get as large when it is cultivated further away from the equator.
Myrtle wattle (Acacia myrtifolia) is a striking shrub first described by the famous botanist Carl Ludwig von Willdenow in 1806. This plant produces pretty white flower tufts that reward cultivators with its ornamental value, especially in coastal gardens due to its salt tolerance. This acacia is a useful and attractive low-maintenance species for environments such as roadsides where its thick foliage provides an effective windbreak.
Small Philippine Acacia
Small Philippine Acacia (Acacia confusa) is a perennial tree native to Southeast Asia that has proliferated in tropical places around the globe and caused problems as an invasive species. However, its wood has also been put to use, for example as support beams for underground mines in China.
Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) is a deciduous tree that's also known as the "Black Wattle," "Lightwood," and "Tasmanian Blackwood." It's a member of the Legume family, which also includes peas and beans. Blackwood is a native of Australia. It's also found in a small part of the eastern coast of the United States.
Bailey's acacia 'Purpurea'
Bailey's acacia 'Purpurea' is a stunning small evergreen tree that originated in Australia. The cultivar is distinct because of its feathery foliage that has an intense lavender-to-purple color upon emerging, and then turns to bluish-gray with age. Masses of yellow fragrant flowers appear in early winter and last through spring. Bailey's acacia 'Purpurea' has a natural umbrella shape and grows rapidly, reaching its full height of 6 to 9 m in only 3 years.
Star acacia (Acacia verticillata) makes an attractive ornamental shrub whose flowers are very popular with birds. Care should be taken since it is highly flammable, and it shouldn't be grown near the house. This shrub was useful to indigenous Australians who made fishing lines from its fibers. In 2016 this plant was featured on a new version of Australia's five-dollar note.
Cedar wattle (Acacia elata) is native to eastern Australia. The trees typically grow up to 18 m high, although some specimens grow to nearly 30 m. Cedar wattle is often cultivated in the timber industry because its sturdy, close-grained wood is good for carpentry and carving.
The shrub or tree with a rounded habit that typically grows to a height of 4 m that has slender spreading branchlets with dense to sparse hairs. The ascending to erect and crowded phyllodes are on short stem-projections. The flat green phyllodes have a linear-oblanceolate to oblong-elliptic shape and a length of 5 to 12 mm and a width of 1 to 1.6 mm. The spherical flower-heads contain 20 to 25 bright yellow flowers.
Acacia koaia is usually distinguished by growing as a short (rarely more than 5 m or 5 m), broad, gnarled tree; having the seeds longitudinally arranged in the pod; shorter, straighter phyllodes; and much denser wood. A population on the northern coast of Kauaʻi may be intermediate, but the relationships have not been worked out.
Black wattle is a perennial tree native to warm regions in Australia. It has escaped cultivation in cooler regions where it's considered an invasive plant. It produces edible bright yellow flowers from summer to fall. The plant is commonly used for environmental management and wood and its active chemical compounds are used as a natural dye.
Sydney golden wattle
Sydney golden wattle (Acacia longifolia) is an evergreen tree that can grow to 9 m tall and form dense stands. It blooms profusely from winter to spring with yellow, tubular-shaped flowers. Attracts butterflies and bees. Thrives in full sun and tolerates a variety of conditions including coastal and windy areas. Makes an excellent windbreak.
Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii), indigenous in southeastern Australia, has been introduced to countries around the world for industrial purposes. The main products are tannin from its bark and woodchips for paper. Because of the high number of seeds it produces, and their longevity, it spreads very rapidly and is considered one of the most invasive plants in the world.
Orange wattle (Acacia saligna) is a small tree that is native to Australia and sometimes planted in semi-arid environments outside its native range as a windbreak and to combat soil erosion. Orange wattle produces yellow flowers in late winter and early spring. The seeds of the tree are distributed by ants that harvest them for food.
The paradoxical nature of paradox acacia (Acacia paradoxa) is that its showy yellow flowers mask aggressively thorny branches. It is common throughout Australia and provides cover for small birds, nectar for moths and butterflies, and seeds for birds. The flowers are edible and are sometimes included in fritters. It is a useful shrub for hedges, screens, and erosion control.
Earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis) is an evergreen tree that can grow from 20 to 27 m tall. It is a fast-growing tree with a gnarly trunk and is often multi-stemmed. It blooms in spring with yellowish-orange spiked clusters. Each tree produces about 47,000 seeds per year. It is becoming an invasive tree, displacing vegetation and native plants.
It is a fast-growing evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 15 m tall. The leaves are blue-green to silvery gray and thinly divided, which makes them attractive all year long. The flowers of the silver wattle are bright balls of color made up of yellow flowerheads of 13–42 individual flowers.
Acacia podalyriifolia, or pearl acacia, is a small evergreen tree or shrub from Australia that grows very quickly. Blooms profusely with fluffy yellow flowers and is sometimes grown ornamentally. Introduced into western North America in 1908. It can quickly form dense stands, crowding out native species.
Water wattle is an evergreen shrub that is native to southern Australia. It blooms intermittently throughout the year, producing clusters of small yellow flowers, making it a popular choice as an ornamental plant. It has received awards from the Royal Horticultural Society.