Native to scrub and chaparral of New South Wales, Australia, this evergreen shrub or small tree, is a member of the legume family, Fabaceae, that also includes pea, lupines and mimosa. The plant grows 20-30′ tall and has a wide canopy and wide weeping branches. Unlike other Acacias it has true leaves rather than phyllodes (modified petioles). Each leaf is blue-gray in color and made up of four pairs of bipinnate leaflets each of which have dozens of mini-leaflets. From late winter to spring, globular clusters of bright yellow flowers appear in the leaf axils. The flowers have an abundance of stamens which give them a fuzzy appearance. Cootamundra wattle is valued as a cut flower as well as a garden shrub. It’s life span is only about 30 years but it can become invasive. The genus name, Acacia, comes either from the Greek word akazo meaning to sharpen or from the Egyptian word akakia, a name given to the Egyptian Thorn, Acacia arabica. The specific epithet, baileyana, honors Frederick Manson Bailey  1827-June 1915) a botanist active in Australia, who made valuable contributions to the characterization of the flora of Queensland.  Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Type: Flowering broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree

Outstanding Feature: Flowers

Form: Weeping

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Fuzzy, globular clusters of bright yellow flowers from late winter to early spring

Size: 20-30′ H x 20-40′ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained, neutral to acidic

Hardiness: Zones 8-11

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but susceptible to anthracnose

Propagation: Seed (after soaking overnight in hot water), semi-hardwood cutting in summer, leaf cuttings

Outstanding Selections:

‘Purpurea (bronze-purple new growth)

Photo Credit: Daiju Azuma, Wikimedia Commons

By Karen