Acacia dealbata

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Acacia dealbata
File:Acacia dealbata-1.jpg
Foliage and flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. dealbata
Binomial name
"Acacia Dealbata "
  • Acacia decurrens var. dealbata (Link) Muller
  • Acacia decurrens var. mollis Lindl.
  • Acacia puberula Dehnh.
  • Acacia derwentii Siebert & Voss
  • Acacia decurrens var. dealbata (Link) Maiden
  • Acacia affinis Sweet
  • Racosperma dealbatum (Link) Pedley[2]

Acacia dealbata (known as silver wattle, blue wattle[3] or mimosa[4]) is a species of Acacia, native to southeastern Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory and widely introduced in Mediterranean, warm temperate, and highland tropical landscapes.[5][6]


It is a fast growing evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 30 m tall, typically a pioneer species after fire. The leaves are bipinnate, glaucous blue-green to silvery grey, 1–12 cm (occasionally to 17 cm) long and 1–11 cm broad, with 6–30 pairs of pinnae, each pinna divided into 10–68 pairs of leaflets; the leaflets are 0.7–6 mm long and 0.4–1 mm broad. The flowers are produced in large racemose inflorescences made up of numerous smaller globose bright yellow flowerheads of 13–42 individual flowers. The fruit is a flattened pod 2–11.5 cm long and 6–14 mm broad, containing several seeds.[3][7] Trees generally do not live longer than 30 to 40 years, after which in the wild they are succeeded by other species where bushfires are excluded. In most mountain areas, a white lichen can almost cover the bark, which may contribute to the descriptor "silver".[citation needed]


There are two subspecies:[5]

  • A. dealbata dealbata. Low to moderate altitudes. Tree to 30 m; leaves mostly 5–12 cm long.
  • A. dealbata subalpina Tindale & Kodela. High altitudes in the Snowy Mountains. Shrub to 5 m (rarely 10 m) tall; leaves mostly 1.5–8.5 cm long.

Some authorities consider A. dealbata to be a variant of Acacia decurrens.[3]

Cultivation and uses

File:Kambah Karpet Acacia dealbata.JPG
Kambah Karpet a variety of Acacia dealbata discovered at the Kambah Village.

Acacia dealbata is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions of the world,[3] and is naturalised in some areas, including Sochi (Black Sea coast of Russia), southwestern Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, Norfolk Island, the Mediterranean region from Portugal to Greece and Morocco to Israel, Yalta (Crimea, Ukraine), California, Madagascar,[8] southern Africa (South Africa, Zimbabwe), the highlands of southern India,[6] south-western China and Chile[7][9][10][11][12] It does not survive prolonged frost.[3] It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[13]

The timber is useful for furniture and indoor work, but has limited uses, mainly in craft furniture and turning. It has a honey colour, often with distinctive figures like birdseye and tiger stripes. It has a medium weight (540–720 kg/m³), and is similar to blackwood.[citation needed]

The flowers and tip shoots are harvested for use as cut flowers, when it is known by florist trade as "mimosa". In Italy, Albania, Russia and Georgia the flowers are also frequently given to women on International Women's Day.[citation needed] The essence of the flowers, called 'cassie' or 'opopanax', is used in perfumes. The leaves are sometimes used in Indian chutney.[3]

In South Africa, the species is a Category 1 weed in the Western Cape (requiring eradication) and Category 2 weed (requiring control outside plantation areas) elsewhere.[14] In New Zealand the Department of Conservation class it as an environmental weed.[15] It has been analyzed as containing less than 0.02% alkaloids.[16]

It is known to contain enanthic acid, palmic aldehyde, anisic acid, enanthic acid, acetic acid, and phenols.[17][unreliable source?]


  1. "Acacia dealbata". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  2. «Acacia dealbata» EOL. Consulted on 21 November 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Gualtiero Simonetti (1990). Stanley Schuler, ed. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Australian Plant Name Index: Acacia dealbata
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kull, C. A. et al. (2011) Adoption, use and perception of Australian acacias around the world. Diversity and Distributions 17 (5):822-836.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Flora of Australia Online: Acacia dealbata
  8. [1]Kull, CA, J Tassin, H Rangan (2007). Multifunctional, scrubby, and invasive forests? Wattles in the highlands of Madagascar. Mountain Research and Development 27 (3): 224-31
  9. Michail Belov: [2], Chileflora. Consulted 2010, September 22.
  10. Flora Europaea: Acacia dealbata
  11. Jepson Flora: Acacia dealbata
  12. [3] Kull, CA & H Rangan (2008). Acacia exchanges: wattles, thorn trees, and the study of plant movements. Geoforum 39 (3): 1258-72.
  13. RHS Plant Selector Acacia dealbata AGM / RHS Gardening
  14. Invasive Species South Africa
  15. Howell, Clayson (May 2008). Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DRDS292. Wellington: Department of Conservation. ISBN 978-0-478-14413-0. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  16. Chemotaxonomie der Pflanzen By Robert Hegnauer
  17. Mimosa Essential Oil
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