Acacia pycnantha, commonly known as the golden wattle, was named Australia’s national flower starting in 1988. Its name descends from the Greek pines that featured the thick clusters of flowers formed on the tree. It is a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, native to southeastern Australia and was often confused with the Acacia saligna. It was introduced in some regions of southern Europe and is also distributed in South Africa, where it has become an invasive plant, for which different methods have been used to control it and to prevent the proliferation of this population.
Description of Acacia Pycnantha
Acacia pycnantha flowers in late winter and early summer, producing a large number of golden flowers, exquisitely fragrant and soft to the touch, followed by long pods containing shiny black seeds. It is a small plant that can reach up to 10 meters in height, although plants have been observed in Morocco that have reached up to 12 meters in height. Its bark is smooth in young plants and dark brown to gray in color. However, on older plants it can be split and have a rough texture. It has small smooth branches and sometimes covered with white flowers.
Here you can see the main characteristics of Acacia pycnantha:
Distribution and habitat of Acacia pycnantha
The Acacia pycnantha is native to South Australia, it has been distributed even in the most arid regions of the northwest as well as in coastal areas of central and southern New Wales, also including regions of Sydney and the Blue Mountains. It was also distributed throughout India and Morocco, regions where, according to studies, it is suspected that it would replace Acacia cyanophylla in some areas, due to its high tannin content. It is a plant that inhabits and develops in areas of siliceous and stony sand. Due to their strong resistance to drought, they grow without any type of irrigation, enduring variable temperatures from very cold to hot and excessively dry.
Reproduction of Acacia pycnantha
Due to its characteristics, Acacia pycnantha is a plant that reproduces by its seeds and by its resistance to very unfavorable soil conditions, it can be recognized as a pyrophytic plant, that is, its growth can be in areas that have been devastated by fire, and its seeds that have been spread for many years are stimulated by high temperatures, thus allowing them to reproduce without any type of risk, they are completely adaptable to this type of soil, the Acacia Farnesiana it also has that particularity, in this way it germinates and thus begins the existence of new plants.
Acacia pycnantha care
Like most Acacias, Acacia pycnantha does not require special care for its growth, being able to tolerate different types of soils. However, as it is a plant that resists droughts, it should be watered moderately throughout the year. If it is part of gardens, it should be fertilized once a year with compost or manure and pruned once it has finished flowering, in this way its growth is controlled and thus it can give it a rounded shape.
It is important to take into account that this plant does not support flooding, so its planting area must be very well drained and placed in spaces that have direct exposure to the sun so that its normal growth is not negatively affected. Despite being a very resistant plant, it can be affected by the attack of pests or fungi.
Uses of Acacia pycnantha
The acacia pycnantha is a plant that, due to the beauty of its flowers, can be used ornamentally. Other benefits offered by this plant is its flowers, which have a pleasant fruity aroma, since it can be used to make flavorings, in addition, due to its colorful yellow foliage, it is taken into account to be used as an ornament for farms, squares, gardens, and parks. . Its flowers produce pollen very rich in nutrients with which bees make the well-known acacia honey. Previously, the natives roasted the seeds and ground them to make a kind of flour with which they made a food similar to bread.
From the bark of the acacia pycnantha they extract a substance very similar to the sap called tannin, with which they dye the skin of animals for domestic use and to make some medicines. Some animals that inhabit this tree eat its fruits for its citrus content, its wood is an excellent fuel that is used as firewood.