|Acacia saligna subsp. var.||Golden wreath wattle, Orange wattle, Port Jackson willow, Wattle, Port Jackson willow, Western australian golden wattle|
Acacia saligna, commonly known by various names including coojong, golden wreath wattle, orange wattle, blue-leafed wattle, Western Australian golden wattle, and, in Africa, Port Jackson willow, is a small tree in the family Fabaceae. Native to Australia, it is widely distributed throughout the south west corner of Western Australia, extending north as far as the Murchison River, and east to Israelite Bay.
Acacia saligna grows as a small, dense, spreading tree with a short trunk and a weeping habit. It grows up to eight metres tall. Like many Acacia species, it has phyllodes rather than true leaves; these can be up to 25 centimetres long. At the base of each phyllode is a nectary gland, which secretes a sugary fluid. This attracts ants, which are believed to reduce the numbers of leaf-eating insects. The yellow flowers appear in early spring and late winter, in groups of up to ten bright yellow spherical flower heads. The fruit is a legume, while the seed is oblong and dark to black in colour.
A natural colonizer, Coojong tends to grow wherever soil has been disturbed, such as alongside new roads. Its seeds are distributed by ants, which store them in their nests to eat the seed-stalks. Disturbance of the soil brings them to the surface and allows them to germinate. Seeds germinate readily, and hundreds of seedlings can sometimes be found beneath a single parent tree. It is also extremely vigorous when young, often growing over a metre per year.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Acacia saligna, Wendl. (A. leiophylla, Benth.). A low tree or tall shrub with angular, rather drooping branches: phyll. lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, or even oblanceolate, 3-8 1/2 in. or lower lvs. 1 ft. long, 1/4-1 1/4 or even 1 3/4 in. wide, acute to obtuse, narrowed to base; 1 central nerve, often excentric, ending in a recurved point or obtuse; gland at base or none: fls. large (1/2in. in diam.), either in large racemes at the ends of the branches or reduced to 4 or 5 heads strung along the axils of the lvs. for 2 or 3 ft.; peduncles varying from 1/4-1/2in. in length: pods constricted between the seeds, flat with nerve-like margins, 3-5 in. long, 1/4in. wide; funicle club-shaped, three-fourths length of seed; ripe Aug. Fls. March-May and to slight extent at various times.—Botanists do not find any well-marked differences between this species and the next and are therefore inclined to combine the two. Nurserymen base their distinction on the color of the phyll., a bluish-tinged one being called A. cyanophylla, while the green phyll., especially if it is smaller, is called A. saligna. Both forms are also said to have been secured from seed gathered from a single tree. Nurserymen should test this to satisfy themselves. Another so-called botanical distinction gives the funicle straight in one species and folded in the other. This does not hold, as such a combination can be seen in the same plant, and even in the same pod. This species is variable in other respects. Fls. may be in groups of 4 or 5 and strung along the axis of lvs. for 2 or 3 ft. This type may have either large or small or even mixed phyll., or the fls. may be in large clusters (either erect or pendulous) at the ends of the branches. In either case, the large or the small or the mixed types of phyll. may accompany them. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Acacia saligna. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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