Knife-Leaf Wattle

Acacia cultriformis

The knife-leaf wattle is a particularly popular species in cultivation. It is a fast-growing shrub native to Queensland and NSW that forms a large, rounded shape approximately 2.5m tall by 2m wide. This shape, which can be maintained by pruning, makes it a very attractive specimen plant for the garden. The knife-leaf wattle is grown as much for it triangular, blue-grey ‘leaves’ as its deep, golden globular clusters of flowers from late winter to late spring. Both are valued in floral arrangements. The flowers are edible and very rich in pollen and can been used in making fritters. For those interested in plant dyes, a yellow dye can be extracted from the flowers whilst the seed pods produce a green dye. The bark has medicinal uses.

Like most wattles, the mature plant replaces its true leaves with leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes. This is an adaptation of the plant to reduce evaporative water loss, allowing it to grow in relatively dry conditions. It has non-invasive roots that are useful in erosion control nodules that harbour nitrogen-fixing bacteria which improve soil nutrients, and thus make these plants significant pioneer species in revegetation.

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