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Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra wattle)

Cootamundra wattle is a graceful tree with beautiful fern-like foliage and bright golden-yellow flower heads, and is widely cultivated as an ornamental.
The bright golden-yellow flower heads of Acacia baileyana

The bright golden-yellow flower heads of Acacia baileyana (Photo: Martyn Rix)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Acacia baileyana F.Muell.

Common name: 

Cootamundra wattle, golden mimosa

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria, but not considered to be at risk in the wild.

Habitat: 

Open woodland, in stony, hilly country; on clay or clay loams derived from granites and porphyries (igneous rocks).

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Rosanae
Order: 
Fabales
Family: 
Leguminosae/Fabaceae - Mimosoideae
Genus: Acacia

About this species

Cootamundra wattle was first described from a tree growing in Bowen’s Park, Brisbane, when material from this specimen was sent by Mr F.M. Bailey to the veteran German-Australian botanist, Ferdinand von Mueller. He named it in 1888 in honour of the sender, so commemorating F.M. Bailey’s pioneering work on the Flora of Queensland.

The first record of Acacia baileyana being cultivated in the UK is in the Gardeners’ Chronicle for 1894, where it was illustrated from a specimen grown at the Cambridge Botanic Garden. Following that, it became a firmly established favourite for the decoration of winter gardens and large conservatories. Its habit of flowering in the winter (December-March), at a time when other trees and shrubs lack flowers, enhances its value in the Northern Hemisphere.

Cootamundra wattle received an Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society for specimens exhibited by Mr Cecil Hanbury of La Mortola on 27 January 1927.

Synonym: 

Racosperma baileyanum

Genus: 
Acacia

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