just another acacia

At plant nurseries, I’m often a hapless Mr. Magoo, peering and squinting at new shapes and wildly filling in the blanks with extravagant theories.

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For example, the twisted, contorted stems of this mystery tree, or shrub grown on standard, reminded me of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’).

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But what about that weeping habit of growth? And those nubby protuberances, were they catkins?

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Okay, okay. Up close, I see they’re not catkins but tiny, bristly flower clusters. Long chains of yellow bloom. Could it be a diminutive laburnum?

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Wrong again, Magoo. Not with spidery leaves like that, which bear the hallmarks of a denizen from Down Under, where thread-like leaves are a necessary adaptation to scorching temps.
The tag solved the mystery and stifled further speculation, as much fun as that was. Just another acacia. Acacia merinthophora, the Zigzag Wattle, from Australia.

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I have to say in my defense that keeping track of all the gorgeous acacias in the world would be a life’s work.

(Acacia merinthophora: Small, drought tolerant, evergreen tree, 8-12 feet, hardy to 25-30 F.)

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5 Responses to just another acacia

  1. David Feix says:

    This is definitely one of the more interesting Acacias out there, and San Marcos Growers in Santa Barbara has a website to indulge your whimsy with others equally enticing. Flora Grubb Nursery here in San Francisco is another great place to scope out interesting Acacias.

  2. Denise says:

    David, the Meditt Society is planning a trip to SMG this spring which I’m hoping to attend to see their online descriptions writ large.

  3. Wow, that’s a beauty, I can’t imagine what my shopping trips would be like if I lived in your part of the world!

  4. Hoov says:

    Wonderful plant to photograph!

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