Acacia baileyana | ‘Bailey’s Wattle’, ‘Cootamundra Wattle’, ‘Golden Mimosa’ | Seeds
Acacia baileyana is an impressive flowering tree or shrub of the Acacia, most commonly known as the ‘Bailey’s Wattle’, ‘Cootamundra Wattle’ or ‘Golden Mimosa’. Originally native to parts of New South Wales, in Australia, baileyana has long been a firm favourite in many ornamental tree gardens around the planet. Consequently, it also goes by the names ‘Acacia de Bailey’, ‘Akazie’, ‘Baileys’, ‘Bailey’s Mimosa’ and ‘Mimosa di Bailey’.
A gorgeously busy evergreen member of the Fabaceae family with delicate silvery-grey-green and fern-like leaves (three to six centimetres long), the ‘Cootamundra Wattle’ reaches a height of between four to eight metres (and roughly half as much in diameter) after a decade or two. Tiny and densely-clustered golden-yellow flowers average just under one centimetre across, and are succeeded by flattened, elongated blue-green fruit approximately thirty to one hundred and twenty millimetres long and roughly one centimetre wide. The fruit is usually coated with a white-grey powder while it’s in the early stages of development.
While found naturally growing in (primarily hilly or stony) woodlands, baileyana is very happy to spread to other habitats, such as disturbed sites and wastelands, forest plantations and open woodlands, grasslands and heathlands, riverine environments and roadsides. Credit for baileyana’s versatility goes to its long-lived, fire-adapted seeds, which are easily and widely spread by carriers including ants, vehicles, wind, waste and water.
Acacia baileyana is popular for use in the cut flower business, as food for bees (contributing to the production of honey), as a nitrogen-fixing tree and as a much-loved element of garden, landscape and park design too. Apart from the common species form, several popular ornamental cultivars exist, including the purple-hued Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea’, the yellowish-hued Acacia baileyana ‘Aurea’, the reddish-hued Acacia baileyana ‘Rubra’ (or ‘Rubrum’) and the dense, low-growing Acacia baileyana ‘Prostrata’.
A winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Award of Garden Merit’, baileyana is highly adaptable and hence quite easy to cultivate from seed (and sometimes cuttings). However, germination rates benefit greatly from suitable pre-treatment and a minimum temperature of approximately 18°C. This Wattle does best in a relatively sheltered aspect in full sun in USDA Climate Zones 9, 10 and 11 – provided the soil is a well-drained sandy loam with a pH of somewhere between 5.6 to 7.5. The species requires regular but not too much water and can survive temperatures down to around 1°C. During frosts, baileyana should be protected by a combination of a deep mulch and several layers of fleece or similar. A balanced liquid fertiliser can be applied over the growing season but all watering and fertilising should be reduced to a minimum over the winter months.
Truly a gorgeous and eye-catching addition to any garden!
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018-2019