Native to Australia, this flowering shrub to small tree is typically 3 to 5 m (10 to 16 ft) tall, occasionally reaching heights of up to 9 m (30 ft). In shrub form it is multi-trunked and low-branching, otherwise it develops a single trunk with a rounded crown of slightly drooping branches. The bark is smooth and grey or grey-brown.
The leaves are made up of numerous blue-grey leaflets in feather-like arrangement. Their unusual colour adds contrast and interest to the masses of showy, yellow puff-ball-like flowers that bloom from late winter through spring. The flowers give off a sweet fragrance, with a scent that reminds one of honey and are followed by brown-black seedpods that mature in late summer.
It is cultivated mainly in gardens for its showy flowers and their sweet fragrance. The flowers produce god amounts of pollen which helps sustain brood-rearing honeybees in winter.
The flowering stems can be cut for use in floral arrangements. Stems suitable for cut-flower harvesting have less than half of their flowers open, with the rest still at the bud stage but already coloured yellow.
Grows and flowers reliably in sub-humid subtropical and tropical mid- to high-elevation climates, generally in areas with annual lows of 8 to 17 °C, annual highs of 20 to 30 °C, annual rainfall of 200 to 1200 mm and a dry season of 8 months or less.
New plants are usually grown from seed which germinate readily. It has
good tolerance of a wide range of moist, free-draining clay, loam and sand soils of a moderately acid to neutral nature, generally with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 and being a nitrogen-fixer, it will thrive in nutrient poor soils.
Pruning each year after flowering helps to improves flowering performance the following year. A relatively short-lived tree species, it has a lifespan of just fifteen to twenty years.
Seed-eating birds are known to disperse the seed outside of cultivation. It also re-seeds readily and is reported to be a problem weed in California, South Africa, Zimbabwe and in other regions where it is introduced, probably as an ornamental originally. Ironically, it is a declared noxious weed in Australia, where it its native.
The vigorous roots can block sewer and other underground pipes. A minimum planting distance of six meters from underground pipes is recommended.
Allen, O. N. & Allen, E. K. 1981, The Leguminosae : a source book of characteristics, uses, and nodulation, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin
Barwick, M., et al. 2004, Tropical & subtropical trees : a worldwide encyclopaedic guide, Thames and Hudson, London
Burke, D. 2005, The complete Burke's backyard : the ultimate book of fact sheets, Murdoch Books, New South Wales, Australia
Church, G. & Greenfield, P. 2002, Trees and shrubs for fragrance, David Bateman, Auckland, New Zealand
Clemson, A. 1985, Honey and pollen flora, New South Wales Department of Agriculture, Inkata Press, Melbourne
Holliday, I. 2002, A field guide to Australian trees, 3rd revised editon, New Holland Publishers, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales
Jones, R. 2001, Caring for cut flowers, 2nd ed, Landlinks Press, Victoria, Australia
Leech, M. 2013, Bee Friendly: A planting guide for European honeybees and Australian native pollinators, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Macoboy, Stirling 1982, Trees for flower and fragrance, Lansdowne Press, Sydney
Maslin, B. R. & McDonald, M. W. 2004, Acacia Search : Evaluation of Acacia as a woody crop option for southern Australia, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Barton, A.C.T., Australia
Mathias, M. E., 1982, Flowering plants in the landscape, University of California Press, Berkeley
National Research Council (Board on Science and Technology for International Development) 1979, Tropical legumes : resources for the future, The National Academies Press, Washington D. C.
Randall, R. P. 2007, The introduced flora of Australia and its weed status, Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management, Glen Osmond, South Australia
South East Water Company 1999, Tree roots : a growing problem, South East Water, Moorabbin, Victoria
This website is provided for general information only. Iplantz makes no statements, representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this website and does not accept any liability to you or any other person for the information which is provided or referred to on this website.
In particular, Iplantz does not represent or warrant that any dataset or the data it contains is accurate, authentic or complete, or suitable for your needs. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of datasets and their contents.
To the maximum extent permitted by law, Iplantz accepts no liability whatsoever to any person arising from or connected with the use of or reliance on any information or advice provided on this website or incorporated into it by reference, including any dataset or data it contains. No responsibility is taken for any information or services that may appear on any linked websites.