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Acacia dealbata - Link.                
Common Name Mimosa, Silver wattle
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats In many habitats by streams, gullies and alpine ridges[154, 184]. Dry forests[260].
Range Australia - Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania. Naturalized in S. Europe[50].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of cone
Acacia dealbata is an evergreen Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to February. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms A. decurrens dealbata.
Acacia dealbata Mimosa, Silver wattle

(c) ken Fern, Plants For A Future 2010
Acacia dealbata Mimosa, Silver wattle
(c) ken Fern, Plants For A Future 2010
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers.
Edible Uses: Gum.

Flowers - cooked[144]. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. A gum that exudes naturally from the trunk is edible and is used as a substitute for Gum Arabic[46]. It is very soluble in water and viscous[46, 153], but is of low quality[64]. Larger quantities can be obtained by tapping the trunk[64]. Some species produce a gum that is dark and is liable to be astringent and distasteful, but others produce a light gum and this is sweet and pleasant. It can be sucked like candy or soaked in water to make a jelly.[193]. The gum can be warmed when it becomes soft and chewable[193].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known
Other Uses
Dye;  Gum;  Soil stabilization;  Tannin.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[168]. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods[168]. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion[200]. Tannin is obtained from the bark[61, 171]. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 19.1% tannin[223].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a sandy loam and a very sunny position sheltered from strong winds[1, 11]. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is lime-free[11]. Plants become chlorotic on limey soils[200]. They grow well in a hot dry position[166], and are very drought tolerant[245]. Fast growing[88]. Although it prefers a well-drained soil, the plant is tolerant of both drought and wet conditions[260]. Hardy to about -10°c, this species succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[11, 184], growing well in Cornwall[49, 59]. If it is cut down by frosts it usually resprouts from the base to form a thicket of slender stems[166]. It can be trained and grown against a sunny wall[202]. Plants require hot, sunny summers if they are to ripen their wood fully and flower freely. In Britain they tend to do best when grown in coastal gardens in a sunny, sheltered position that is protected from the wind[11]. This species is closely allied to A. decurrens[11]. Old specimens sucker very freely, often at considerable distances from the parent tree[200]. Plants can be coppiced[134]. A very ornamental tree[1], there are some named varieties[260]. The species is cultivated in S. Europe for ornament, timber and soil stabilization[50]. The flowers are very attractive and are often sold in florists[11, 61]. The violet-like perfume of the flowers can be quite intoxicating on a calm day[245]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse[1]. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in March. The seed germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c[133]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame[78]. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage[78].
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Acacia aneuraMulga Acacia30
Acacia auriculiformisEar-Pod Wattle, Black Acacia, Earleaf, Black wattle10
Acacia concinnaShikakai, Soap-Pod21
Acacia coriaceaWiry Wattle, Acacia, Leather Leaf30
Acacia cultriformisKnife-Leaf Wattle, Knife acacia20
Acacia decurrensGreen Wattle21
Acacia farnesianaSweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache22
Acacia longifoliaSydney Golden Wattle, Acacia30
Acacia mearnsiiBlack Wattle, Late black wattle13
Acacia melanoxylonBlackwood, Australia Acacia, Black Acacia, Blackwood Acacia21
Acacia mucronataNarrow-Leaf Wattle20
Acacia paradoxaKangaroo Thorn, Paradox acacia10
Acacia podalyriifoliaQueensland Silver Wattle, Pearl wattle10
Acacia pycnanthaGolden Wattle20
Acacia retinodesSwamp Wattle, Water wattle20
Acacia salignaBlue-Leaved Wattle, Orange wattle10
Acacia sophoraeCoastal Wattle, Acacia20
Acacia verticillataPrickly Moses10
Arracacia xanthorrhizaArracacha30
Robinia pseudoacaciaBlack Locust, Yellow Locust32
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[49]Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties.
Trees and shrubs that grow well in Cornwall and other mild areas of Britain. Fairly good, a standard reference book.
[50]? Flora Europaea
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
[59]Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall.
Trees and shrubs that succeed in Cornwall based on the authors own observations. Good but rather dated.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[64]Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins.
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[88]RHS. The Garden. Volume 112.
Snippets of information from the magazine of the RHS. In particular, there are articles on plants that are resistant to honey fungus, oriental vegetables, Cimicifuga spp, Passiflora species and Cucurbits.
[133]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[134]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
[144]Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia.
A very good pocket guide.
[153]Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C. Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
[154]Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria.
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
[166]Taylor. J. The Milder Garden.
A good book on plants that you didn't know could be grown outdoors in Britain.
[168]Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
[171]Hill. A. F. Economic Botany.
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some a bit of detail about the plants it does cover.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[193]Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
[223]Rottsieper. E.H.W. Vegetable Tannins
A fairly detailed treatise on the major sources of vegetable tannins.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[260]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2
Excellent photos of over 1,100 species and cultivars with habits and cultivation details plus a few plant uses. Many species are too tender for outdoors in Britain though there are many that can be grown outside.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Barbara Sparks Sun Jul 10 00:17:30 2005
I love the tree,it is a fast growing tree,but I want to know HOW fast?Will it grow 2-3'a year or how much.Just approximate growth rate,please.I grew one and it grew 18' in about 5 years.Would that be substantial growth for one grown in Winchester,Ohio,about 45 m iles east of Cincinnati,Ohio.

Link: Plant for a Future Questions about Mimosa Tree

Elizabeth H.
Jeremy Sun Feb 18 2007
This tree species (A. dealbata) is an invasive and noxious weed in N. America (and especially here in Northern California). Under no circumstances should this tree be imported or planted!
Elizabeth H.
Tshewang Dorji Fri Jun 15 2007
i like the tree basically because of its ability to vegetate the denuded hills. it also improves the soil by adding nitrogen. this species is not yet grown on large scale plantations in my country but researchers are on their way to find the desirable traits and assess the environmental impacts of growing Acacia dealbata on large scale especially on the degraded and waste lands in bhutan. i would therefore like to get valuable suggestions from the experts on this matter. any information provided would be appreciated and acknowledged.
Elizabeth H.
Tue Apr 1 2008
I live in very northern california 13 miles from the coast and in 8 years a small acacia forest has developed on my property in a rocky riparian area. Some of the trees are twenty feet tall. These grow faster than my cedars or any other tree for that matter.
Elizabeth H.
aliz Sun Jun 15 2008
This is an interesting conversation about acacia. I have more of a commerce questions, as a consumer interested in sustainability. Plantation-grown acacia is often referred to as "renewable" (seems to me that can be applied to anything you can plant, in theory). But since it seems that it sounds like it's a fast-growing tree, does that mean I can buy an acacia salad bowl, for instance, with a clear conscience? How sustainable is acacia? Many thanks!
Elizabeth H.
Laurae Hughes Thu Oct 9 2008
My grandfather planted many of these trees around his home in Hiouchi, CA about 60 years ago. Many have been cut down to make room for other things, like tennis courts. I came out from the east coast to visit, and there were still many there so I dug up a few small seedlings to take home with me. What do I need to do to make sure these little guys make it? They are VERY sentimental to me as they are the babies of the very same trees that my deceased grandfather planted all those years ago.
Elizabeth H.
david n Thu Oct 9 2008
My best advice is avoid damaging the roots, water gereously at time of planting & then 1 or 2 x a week for a month or so if there's little rain,the roots drying out the main worry at this stage. Follow the instructions on cultivation above,parts of the east coast will be unsuitable in terms of cold (it only takes down to zone 8 (-12)F) and possibly other things. You may want to keep looking around for someone with personal experience with this particular plant. Staking a good idea if it's windy at new site.
Elizabeth H.
david n Fri Oct 10 2008
error in previous reply: zone 8 is -12 C / 10F...... NOT -12 F
Elizabeth H.
Liz Baggallay Wed Jan 6 2010
We have a house in the Roussillon region of France. When we bought it, we thought how lovely it was to have mimosas in the garden. Little did we know how invasive this tree is. When you cut it down, shoots rapidly appear. If someone can tell me how to get rid of it effectively, I would be most grateful
Elizabeth H.
J. Ferro Tue Jan 12 2010
I advise moast caution when plantig exotic species, these is a beautiful tree but can became e weed in mild areas of europe. It propagates very easely specialy after wild fires ocupying extense burned areas! Fortunatly is a short life species (no more than 30 to 40 years), it also dont tolerate shade by other trees. So my advise is if you want to control or irradicate it you should plant a lot of native species (bushes and trees) that tolerate shadow and in time they will overpass the acacias, and do every year manual cutings using the wood for fire for example, and in about 10 years they will desapear. Greetings J. Ferro - Portugal
Amanda B.
Chicken food, drops prolifically on the ground, reduces need for external food inputs. Native to NSW but naturalised in Victoria, Australia. Jul 25 2012 12:00AM
High protein seeds highly palatable by chickens
Upgrading the scavenging feed resource base (SFRB) for scavenging chickens; Part I. Preferred perenn
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