Acacia victoriae | ‘Elegant Wattle’, ‘Gundabluey’, ‘Narran’ | 25 seeds
The interesting Fabaceae species Acacia victoriae is a multi-trunked large shrub to small tree which is native to Australia. Most often known by the names ‘Elegant Wattle’ and ‘Gundabluey’, it’s also called ‘Acacia Bush’, ‘Bardi Bush’, ‘Bohemia’, ‘Bramble Wattle’, ‘Narran’, ‘Prickly Wattle’ and ‘Thambarli’. This is another of our UK exclusives!
Acacia victoriae is a much-branched and somewhat straggly species, using its large root system (as long as twenty metres) to reach a height of up to seven metres or so. Its fissured, green-grey-bronze stems grow to roughly six centimetres in diameter, with the branches covered with small spines of roughly one centimetre in length. Alternating up out of the plant’s stems, victoriae‘s green to grey-green phyllodes (essentially flattened leaf stalks) are around one and a half to eight centimetres in length by two to nine millimetres across. Quite variable in shape, the phyllodes can be straight to elliptic to oblong and hairless to hairy. Younger phyllodes often vaunt spines at their base, although never at the apex.
Flowering depends greatly on the location of the individual trees, but commonly occurs sometime between July and December. The sweet-smelling, creamy white-lemon yellow-tan blooms (approximately twelve centimetres long) are spherical and commonly sprout in pairs or clusters from the bases of victoriae‘s phyllodes. As with the flowers, seed-setting is variable, but often between October and December, when a multitude of seedpods (roughly eight centimetres in length) appear. As of 2007, there were three officially recognised subspecies within victoriae: subsp. arida, subsp. fasciaria and subsp. victoriae (the type listed here, usually referred to simply as Acacia victoriae). Acacia victoriae subsp. arida has quite hairy branchlets and phyllodes, while subsp. victoriae is generally hairless.
A fairly fast growing species with a lifespan of roughly ten to fifteen years, Acacia victoriae occurs in arid and semi-arid/subtropical regions in a variety of habitats. Capable of growth in anything from shallow to deep, acid to alkaline soil, it’s most happy when growing in alkaline soils such as clay alluvia’s and saline loams, often on alluvial flats, floodplains, ridges or rocky hillsides. Victoriae is frost resistant and tolerates drought well, but does not usually survive severe droughts (although may regenerate from ‘suckers’ in such cases).
Reportedly the species most commonly used in the ‘Bush Tucker’ industry as a food for humans, the roasted and ground seeds (it’s moderately nutritious and is a good source of protein, carbohydrate and fibre) can be used in breads or ground up as meal or for flavouring (apparently they taste of caramel and roasted nuts), are used in breads as well as ground up as a meal. The seeds and phyllodes have also been used as drought fodder for livestock, such as cattle. The tree itself is useful for soil rehabilitation and as a windbreak, as well as offering protection to several species of birds and small mammals.
A rewarding addition to any Acacia or ethnobotanical garden in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11, Acacia victoriae seed benefits greatly from a twenty four hour soak and/or careful scarification of the seed’s outer coat in order to obtain optimum germination rates. Check out the guides in our Cultivation section for more details. Once germinated, plant in mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil – at least three metres apart if in the ground – in full sun to partial shade.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018-2019