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Acacia dealbata: Silver wattle

The branches of the silver wattle, with their intensely fragrant pale yellow or golden flower clusters are often falsely billed as „mimosas“. Most sold in Germany come from southern Europe, where the evergreen is planted as an ornamental, for the florists‘ trade, and for its use in making perfume. The silver wattle is an Acacia species that is cultivated in many regions of the world. As fast-growing plant with few ecological requirements, it can invade into the natural vegetation, displacing native species.

The natural distribution of Acacia dealbata is restricted to southeastern Australia and Tasmania. It has easily recognizable bipinnate leaves, composed of lots of linear leaflets. The leaves are covered with fine, white hairs, giving them a slivery appearance. This indumentum reflects sunlight, keeping the leaves cool and reducing water – a major advantage in a hot, dry environment. The large inflorescences are composed of 30 to 40 tiny flower heads whose impressive effect results from their many long-filamented stamens.

With more than 700 native species, Acacia is the most species-rich plant genus of Australia. Worldwide, more than 1,000 representatives of this genus are known, growing also in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.

Audio file download
Acacia dealbata: Silver wattle (MP3, 622 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Ehrentraud Bayer, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

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