Botany Photo of the Day
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January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Acacia dealbata

Acacia dealbata

Only a brief entry today - apologies. After checking out this abstract photograph of a pattern on the bark of a silver acacia, though, you can spend a lengthy piece of time reading this fascinating article on acacias from Wayne Armstrong: The Unforgettable Acacias. It spans everything from seed dispersal (by ants) to commercial products (gum arabic).

The Plants for a Future database also has an entry on this southeastern Australian tree: Acacia dealbata Also, please note that it is invasive in southern California.


Acacia dealbata - Z8 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Acacia dealbata - Z9-10 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

Here in Australia, we're so used to exotic plants becoming weeds, but I think few people here are aware of how some of our plants have become weeds elsewhere. Various Acacia species are a huge problem in South Africa (which, like Southern California, has a similar climate to some regions in Australia), and they're now using Fungal Gall of Wattle (a pest here) as a control there.

One of my favourite local species, Melaleuca Quinquenervia has turned evil in the Florida Everglades. So sad.



In my garden in Olympia, Washington, A. dealbata var. subalpina about 30' tall is now beginning to produce root suckers.

Wayne Armstrong's article is very good -- thanks for that link. He refers to the "African fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea), a common tree of lowland, swampy savannahs in South Africa" -- which reminds me of the acacias I saw on a trip to Africa long ago -- and this favourite line from children's literature. I believe it's from Kipling's story about how the elephant got its trunk...

"... down to the banks of great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo river, all set out with fever trees"

sorry, a couple of typos, it should read:

"... down to the banks of the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees"

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