Acacia alata R.Br.
Acacia alata var. alata, Acacia uniglandulosa, Mimosa alata, Phyllodoce alata
Color: White, cream, or golden yellow
Bloom Time: Spring
Acacia alata is a large multi-branched frost-hardy shrub that grows up to 7 feet (2.1 m) high and up to 40 inches (1 m) across. Its branchlets are often bent alternately in different directions. The phyllodes (modified petioles) are reduced in size and give the impression of cladodes (branches that resemble leaves). The wings of these phyllodes are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Furthermore, each phyllode extends into a spine. The inflorescence is simple, with mostly two flowers per axil, but sometimes distributed in racemes. The globular heads contain 4 to 15 flowers. These flowers can be white, cream, or golden yellow.
How to Grow and Care
Acacia requires full sunlight and grows in nearly any type of soil, including sand, clay, or highly alkaline or acidic soil. Although Acacia prefers well-drained soil, it tolerates muddy soil for short periods. Acacia is a plant-it-and-forget-it type of tree, although a young tree may need protection from wildlife while it develops its defense system. During the first year, the tree benefits from an orchid fertilizer every three to four weeks. After that time, you can feed the tree a general-purpose fertilizer once every year, but it isn't an absolute requirement. Acacia requires little or no water.
Acacia may need occasional pruning during the dry months. Avoid pruning leafy, green areas, and trim only dead growth.
Although the tree is disease-resistant, it can sometimes be affected by a fungal disease known as anthracnose. Additionally, watch for pests such as aphids, thrips, mites, and scale. See more at How to Grow and Care for Acacia.
Native to Western Australia.
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