Thursday, 25 June 2015

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 118 - COOTAMUNDRA WATTLE

Acacia baileyana or Cootamundra wattle, is a shrub or tree in the genus Acacia, in the Fabaceae family. The scientific name of the species honours the botanist Frederick Manson Bailey. It is indigenous to a small area of southern New South Wales in Australia, but it has been widely planted in other Australian states and territories. In Melbourne, it is a very commonly encountered street tree.

In many areas of Victoria, this wattle has become naturalised and is regarded as a weed, out-competing indigenous Victorian species. Wattles have been extensively introduced into New Zealand. Almost all wattles have cream to golden flowers. The small, lightly fragrant, flowers are arranged in spherical to cylindrical inflorescences, with only the stamens prominent. These trees start to bloom in early Winter and different varieties of wattle will continue to flower until Spring.

A. baileyana is used in Europe in the cut flower industry, where it is called "mimosa". It is also used as food for bees in the production of honey. This plant is adaptable and easy to grow. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Unfortunately it has an ability to naturalise (i.e. escape) into surrounding bushland. Also, it hybridises with some other wattles, notably the rare and endangered Sydney Basin species Acacia pubescens. The fine foliage of the original Cootamundra wattle is grey-green, but a blue-purple foliaged form, known as 'Purpurea' is very popular.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.






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