Acacia falcata

Burra, Sickle wattle, Silver-leaved wattle

Family: Fabaceae subfamily Mimosoideae

Acacia falcata is a spindly and flexuous shrub, growing to 5 m high and only about 1 m wide. It has a somewhat arching/weeping habit.

It grows from Queensland, south through eastern New South Wales to Bermagui on the south coast. Its range extends into the tablelands and central western slopes. It grows predominantly on shale soils in open forests and woodlands.

The phyllodes (modified leaves) are a pale green or grey-green and sickle-shaped, measuring to 20 cm in length, by 4 cm wide with a prominent mid vein.

Flowers are cream or pale-yellow and produced in globular heads with each head having up to 20 very small staminate flowers. They appear in early winter from June to August. The globular heads are arranged in racemes of up to 20 in leaf axils.

These are followed by thin seed pods which are to 12 cm long and 1 cm wide. The pods mature from September to December.

In the garden

Grows best in a sunny, reasonably well drained positions in most soils and is frost hardy (will tolerate frosts to -7°C).  It is very hardy plant that revegetates cleared land especially around Sydney. Often used to revegetate road barriers as well.

May be short lived in a garden but worth the effort for the flowers are attractive.

Pruning after flowering may encourage density of branching.

Acacias can suffer from a number of pests, including borers, scale, galls and leaf miners. Growing plants suitable to your local environment minimises these occurring.

Propagation

Propagation is easy from scarified seed by covering with boiling water for 24 hours and discarding any seeds still floating on the surface.

Other information

Australian indigenous people used the bark to make a liniment for treating ailments of the skin.

Fire destroys plants in the wild but, like most wattles, it will reproduce from seed in large numbers.

Acacia – from Greek akis, a thorn or “thorny”.
falcata – named from the Latin word falx “sickle” for its sickle-shaped leaves.

Not known to be at risk in the wild.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_falcata
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Acacia~falcata

By Jeff Howes