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Acacia myrtifolia, Myrtle Wattle

 

Acacia myrtifolia is a widespread shrub that occurs along the coastal fringe and inland in open forest and woodlands of all States except the Northern Territory It is a dense bushy shrub growing to 1.8m high by the same width with creamy white or pale yellow ball flowers in Winter and Spring. These are followed by 4–7 cm long curved seed pods. 

My plant has been growing in my northern Sydney suburb garden in clay soils for over 10 years and in this time has only grown to a height of 1.5 metres. In winter 2012, it flowered at it’s best for a long time probable due to the good rainfall Sydney has received. 

Acacia myrtifolia requires little or no maintenance as they have no real pests or diseases (an ideal plant). After flowering the plant should be given a light prune to keep compact and prevent it getting ‘leggy’. 

Propagation is relatively easy by normal seed raising methods following pretreatment by soaking in boiling water or by scarification. Propagation from cuttings has also been successful. I am going to raise a few more of these plants after it sets seeds as they are an attractive winter flowering plant that i would a few more off.

Interestingly, it was one of the earliest plants described in the colony having been illustrated by James Sowerby (21 March 1757 – 25 October 1822) who was an English naturalist and illustrator. It was also one of the earliest plants bought into cultivation in Europe, 

Acacia -    from Greek acis, a thorn, a reference to the thorny stems of the type species.

myrtifolia -  having foliage similar to the genus Myrtus, the European myrtle.

Jeff Howes

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