Acacia Cyanophylla

The Acacia Cyanophylla – A Tree of Many Uses

The Acacia Cyanophylla is also known as the Acacia Saligna.  It also goes by many other common names, including golden wreath wattle, coojong, orange wattle, Western Australian golden wattle, and Port Jackson willow.  It grows as a short woody tree or shrub and is adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions, including clays, sandy soils, and nutritionally depleted soils.  This makes it a very versatile tree.

The Acacia Cyanophylla has branches that hang in a weeping fashion.  Instead of true leaves, the tree has what is known as phyllodes, which is a flattened form of the petiole, the small stalk that attaches the leaf to the stem.  The tree produces yellow flowers that come in the late winter and early spring, blooming from February to May.  The fruit of the tree is a legume, with black seeds that are oblong in shape.

Ants play an important role in the protection and propagation of the Acacia Cyanophylla.  The tree secretes a sugary substance from nectary glands, which are located at the base of the phyllodes.  This nectar attracts ants and it is believed that the presence of the ants keeps leaf eating insects away from the tree.  The ants are also important when it comes to the distribution of the seeds of the tree.  They eat the seed stalks and they store the seeds in their nests.

The Acacia Cyanophylla is native to Australia and it is particularly dense in the Southwest of Australia, where it grows freely.  However, the tree can be very invasive because it easily survives fires, grows in depleted soils of different types, produces many seeds and comes to reproductive maturity early in life, and has an extensive root system. 

The Acacia Cyanophylla is a tree that has multiple uses, although none of them are medicinal in nature.  It can be used for firewood, animal fodder, re-vegetation, mine site rehabilitation, agroforestry, and as a mulch.  It has been introduced in places such as the Middle East, Africa, and South America to be used as wind breaks and to add stability to sand dunes and help reduce erosion.  However, one of the most popular uses for the tree is as a decorative plant due to its weeping nature and bright yellow flowers.  Control measures have been taken in Africa, where the tree was brought in to add stability to the Cape Flats.  To control the tree authorities have introduced the acacia gall rust fungus and the acacia seed weevil in order to keep it under control.

Overall, the Acacia Cyanophylla tree is a hardy tree that is versatile in its growing conditions and its uses.  It also makes a great tree in a garden or other landscape.  However, due to the ease at which this tree is propagated, it is important to ensure saplings are removed at an early stage.  With a little care and some good soil, this can become a center attraction in any garden.




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