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Plant Profile: Silver Wattle (Acacia delbata)

acacia_dealbata flowersThis evergreen tree is native to Australia and Tasmania where it grows in disturbed areas with full sun and either dry or moist soil. It is widely grown as an ornamental and does especially well in coastal areas of California from San Francisco south. The small yellow flowers are very fragrant and produced in globose clusters that are borne in large racemes in winter and early spring. The silvery pinnately compound leaves are five inches long and made up of about sixty leaflets. The stems are silvery gray and the twigs bear fine hairs. The roots fix nitrogen and the leaves may be allelopathic and so inhibit the growth of some other plants when they fall. Plants establish quickly but resent being transplanted. When stems are cut or killed by frost resprouting occurs.. Flowers are good for the vase.

Type: Evergreen tree

Outstanding Feature: Fragrant flowers in winter and early spring

Form: Broad vase-shaped

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Small yellow flowers produced in globose clusters borne in large racemes

Size: 20-50’H x 16-25’ W (20’ H x 16’ W in Northern Hemisphere)

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, moist or dry, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 9-10

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance but if grown in a greenhouse may be susceptible to red spider mite, fluted scale, and mealy bugs.

Propagation: Seed; require scarification and soaking in warm water for twelve hours; semi-hardwood cuttings.

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