Acacia cyanophylla Lindl.

 

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

 

Australia

 

Blue-Leafed Wattle

                                      February Photo

 

Plant Characteristics:  Tree, to 9 m. tall; multi-trunked, long branches drooping when laden with flowers; phyllodia 1.5-3.0 dm. long, single nerved, sickle shaped, narrow; fls. in clusters, not as dense as A. longifolila, individual flowers in bright yellow balls; seeds shiny, dk. brown, 4 mm. long.

 

Habitat:  Escape from cultivation.  A genus of about 450 species, dispersed throughout the tropics and to some extent in the temp. regions, largely Australian.  Mar., April.

 

Name:  Greek, akakie, from ake, a point, because of the prickles.  (Munz, Calif. Flora, 797).  Greek, kyaneos, dark blue and Greek, phyllon, leaf.  (Jaeger 196).

 

General:  Occasional in the study area; a common tree in the Eastbluff area, it has escaped to the bench below Eastbluff and to Backbay Dr. Photographed in the old Salt Works area next to Back Bay Drive.  (my comments).       Acacia flowers are a source of high grade honey.  A. greggii was used by the Cahuilla, Indians of the Colorado Desert, the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains, the pods were eaten fresh or dried and ground into flour, the wood was used for construction and fires.  A gum much like gum-arabic exudes from the bark of some species and is used locally in Mexico.  The highest branches are a favorite nesting site for verdin while lower ones are used for temporary shelter by pursued jack rabbits.  (Clarke 109-110).         The first acacias came into Calif. gardens a few years after the discovery of gold.  More than 80 species have been tested in the past 100 years.  Of these, some 20 species now serve beautifully and functionally in California and Arizona landscapes.  All acacias are relatively short lived, 20-30 years.  But if a tree grows to 20 ft. high in 3 years, the short life span can be accepted. There are hundreds of species throughout the world.  (Sunset Editors, New Western Garden Book 1984. 163-165).      This species is not listed in the 1993 Jepson Manual.  (my comment).

 

Text Ref:  Bailey 592; Sunset Editors 164.

Photo Ref:  Feb. 3 84 # 16,17.

Identity: by R. De Ruff, confirmed by F. Roberts.

 

Computer Ref:  Plant Data 71.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 1/14/03.

 

                                             February Photo